Are There Souls in Hell Right Now?

April 11, 2014 | 81 comments

It has become fashionable in some Catholic quarters these days to question where there are now or will ever be any souls populating hell. Hell, it is taught, is a "real possibility," but whether there are any souls actually there, or whether there will ever be any souls there, is unknown to us.

It is, of course, true that hell is a "real possibility" for each of us. And that is a sobering thought. But it is also true that souls are actually in hell now, and will be for all eternity. This is a teaching of our Catholic Faith.

Au Contraire!

No less of a luminary than Fr. Robert Barron, following the great Hans Urs von Balthasar, from his famous book on the topic, Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved?, writes in his book, Catholicism, on pages 257-258:

If there are any human beings in hell, they are there because they absolutely insist on it. The conditional clause with which the last sentence began honors the church’s conviction that, though we must accept the possibility of hell (due to the play between divine love and human freedom), we are not committed doctrinally to saying that anyone is actually “in” such a place. We can’t see fully to the depths of anyone’s heart; only God can. Accordingly, we can’t declare with utter certitude that anyone—even Judas, even Hitler—has chosen definitively to lock the door against the divine love. Indeed, the liturgy compels us to pray for all of the dead, and since the law of prayer is the law of belief, we must hold out at least the hope that all people will be saved. Furthermore, since Christ went to the very limits of godforsakenness in order to establish solidarity even with those who are furthest from grace, we may, as Hans Urs von Balthasar insisted, reasonably hope that all will find salvation…

Let me just say at the outset here that neither Hans Urs von Balthasar nor Fr. Robert Barron are "universalists," as they are sometimes accused of being. Both taught hell as a "real possibility" emphasizing the fact that we just can't know with "utter certitude"—to use Fr. Barron's words—whether anyone is in hell. Neither ever taught we can know with that same "utter certitude" that everyone is going to be saved either. For an excellent defense of von Balthasar's teaching, I recommend Mark Brumley's article, "Did Hans Urs von Balthasar Teach that Everyone Will Certainly Be Saved?" found in The Catholic World Report, November 21, 2013.

Having said that, this does not mean there are not problems with both von Balthasar and Fr. Barron's teaching. There are. We'll focus now on Fr. Barron's above-quoted statement.

The central problem comes from the statement, “If there are any human beings in hell…” And then also with the claim that “the church’s conviction” is that we are not committed “doctrinally” to saying anyone is “in” such a place (hell). These are problematic. There are four points that I think we need to consider:

1. The First Constitution of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 at the very least alludes to the fact that folks then living in AD 1215 would be in hell. This was the opening statement of the Council and its “Profession of the Faith.” The implication is that people from every generation would finally be eternally separated from God, not just people from the 13th century. But, at the very least, for the strict interpreter of the words of the Council, it seems inescapable that the Council taught souls are in hell now:

Indeed, having suffered and died on the wood of the cross for the salvation of the human race, he descended to the underworld, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. He descended in the soul, rose in the flesh, and ascended in both. He will come at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, to render to every person according to his works, both to the reprobate and to the elect. All of them will rise with their own bodies, which they now wear, (Latin text reads quae nunc gestant—which they are now bearing or wearing) so as to receive according to their deserts, whether these be good or bad; for the latter perpetual punishment with the devil, for the former eternal glory with Christ.

The present tense indicates that some folks then living—now wearing their bodies—would go to hell. Thus, the Church is here teaching there are souls “in” hell.

2. We have a more recent magisterial statement from Pope John Paul II with, shall we say, an interesting history. It was originally recorded in the L’Osservatore Romano, August 4, 1999, and it read:

Eternal damnation remains a real possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it.

This sounds like it agrees with Fr. Barron and von Balthasar, doesn't it? However, when this statement was placed in the AAS (Acta Apostolicae Sedis—all of the official statements of our Popes are placed there in their official form), “whether or” was edited out. This is most significant. The Pope’s original statement seemed to lend itself to questioning whether or not any souls are in hell. At the time, it was met with serious blow-back. But it was purposely amended, it appears, to eliminate those two problematic words. Thus, the official statement of the Pope reads:

Eternal damnation remains a real possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of which human beings are effectively involved in it.

The official statement of the Pope indicates the traditional Catholic teaching that there are human beings in hell, but that we just do not know “which human beings” they are. 

3. Pope John Paul II, in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, provides:

Can God, who has loved man so much, permit the man who rejects Him to be condemned to eternal torment? And yet, the words of Christ are unequivocal. In Matthew's Gospel he speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf. Matt. 25:46). Who will these be? The Church has never made any pronouncement…” (pg. 185)

Though not a magisterial document, this does give us some insight into the mind of our former Pope. The unresolved question for John Paul was not whether folks are in hell or not, but who they will be individually. That is what the Church has not defined or taught officially. In other words, there is no “anticanonization” process where someone is declared to be in hell infallibly.

Thus, it seems the Church's Magisterium has, in fact, taught that there are souls in hell now, and that there will be for all eternity. “Which human beings” we do not know without special divine revelation. With all due respect to von Balthazar’s “Dare We Hope,” I would say that kind of “hope” would be to hope against the sensus ecclesiae, if by that he meant, or if by that Fr. Barron means, that there could even be a possibility that no one is or ever will be in hell. Jesus’ words are, as Pope John Paul II said, “unequivocal.”

And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life (Matt. 25:46).

Jesus seemed as certain that there will be souls in hell as he was that there will be souls in heaven.

Thus, in Fr. Barron's statement, “If there are any human beings in hell…” he seems to be confusing the idea that we don’t have definitive knowledge of an individual soul being in hell by name, and our not knowing whether there are any souls in hell. We don’t know the former; we do know the latter as a matter of Church teaching.

Dare We Hope?

Finally, I want to consider Fr. Barron's argument that the Church’s prayer for all of the dead means “we must hold out at least the hope that all people will be saved,” based upon the principle of lex orandi, lex credendi. This seems to be a non sequitur. Because we cannot know who will be saved, and who will be lost (apart from a private revelation, as Pope John Paul II said), it stands to reason we would pray for all. In other words, we would not pray: "Lord, because we know some will end up in hell, I pray Eggbert McGillicutty will be one of them." Absolutely not! Just as God "wills all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:4), so must we. But a hope or desire does not necessitate even the possibility of a strict fulfillment.

As an analogy, because I know my six children either have sinned (those over the age of accountability), or will sin (those under the age of accountability), that does not mean my prayer, "Dear Lord, keep my children from the 'sin which clings so closely...'" is somehow void of hope. My desire, my hope, is that they never sin, but there is nothing in that desire, or hope, that means I must then hold to the possibility that all of my children will actually be sinless.

Neither is there anything in the Church's prayer for all souls that necessitates a doctrinal stand of the Church that says we “must” hold out hope that we will discover “hell” empty in the afterlife. In fact, that would contradict both the words of our Lord I cited above and the teaching of the Church in CCC 1034:

Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather… all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,” and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire” (Matt. 25:41)!

Notice, the Church declares that "Jesus solemnly proclaims" and "pronounce[s]" that some will indeed be lost.

What Do We Conclude?

While we did not broach the topic of "how many" will be saved; that is for another time, our focus here has been on the question of whether there are and whether there will be souls in hell for all eternity. Greater minds than mine, like the aforementioned Hans Urs von Balthasar, and Fr. Robert Barron, have posited the possibility that all men could well be saved. Indeed, Fr. Barron even claims that as Catholics we "must" hold this to be a real possibility.

In a word, both of these great men are wrong. The teaching of the Church is clear. CCC 1034 teaches us that Jesus "solemnly proclaim[ed]" that Christ will, in fact, "pronounce the condemnation: 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!'" And the Church can do nothing but repeat her Lord's solemn words.

For more information on this and related topics, click here.

 


Tim Staples is Director of Apologetics and Evangelization here at Catholic Answers, but he was not always Catholic. Tim was raised a Southern Baptist. Although he fell away from the faith of his childhood, Tim came back to faith in Christ during his late teen years through the witness of Christian...

Last Call: The Catholic Teaching On Death-Judgment-Heaven-Hell
Last Call: The Catholic Teaching On Death-Judgement-Heaven-Hell, from Catholic Answers Director of Apologetics Tim Staples is designed to help you better understand and meditate on the Four Last Things — and to enjoy the many spiritual fruits that such meditation brings. Staples reveals the crucial scriptures you need to understand, think about, and share with your friends and loved ones.

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  John Arrowsmith - Knoxville, Tennessee

Tim,

Many thanks for writing this blog post. After having read Ralph Martin's, "Will Many Be Saved?" I was able to get a better understanding of the Church's teachings on this subject. When I watched Fr. Barron's YouTube video on this, I was a little uncomfortable. Thank you for bringing it out into the open.

April 11, 2014 at 9:18 am PST
#2  Mark Jeffords - Ceres, California

Tim, thank you so much for this! It desperately needed to be said. Good job!

April 11, 2014 at 12:45 pm PST
#3  Dan Shakal - Columbus, Ohio

Tim,

I note the following statement of yours: "Indeed, Fr. Barron even claims that as Catholics we "must" hold this to be a real possibility." I think you should be more precise and say that Fr. Barron says we "must... at least... hope" that all will be saved, since that is what he actually said. If we didn't at least have that hope, there would be no point in praying such prayers as "...lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy."

I'm not sure what to make, definitively, of the statement from the Lateran Council...It is a good contribution to the discussion. At the end, I think I would say "Yes, I suppose there are people in hell but I hope not."

It's a good discussion. I just wish that people wouldn't go off and say that Fr. Barron is espousing heresy. I think his position is probably weaker than the other side but it's still a Catholic position.

April 11, 2014 at 1:05 pm PST
#4  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Dan,
You make good points. But I do think Fr. Barron's point is that all might indeed be saved. I know of no Catholic who would "hope" any individual is in hell. It almost goes without saying that we will all to be saved. The point about which I think Fr. Barron is wrong is to say we must hold that it is a real possibility that all will be finally saved, meaning, hell will be empty for all eternity. That is what does not square with both Scripture and Tradition.

April 11, 2014 at 1:10 pm PST
#5  Brian Kerzetski - Las Vegas, Nevada

Thank you for the thoughts. It is tough to fathom how someone could reject God when presented with the fullness of the truth. Somehow the angels managed to do it, so it is certainly possible for us.

(I don't think it was fair to single out Eggbert, though. He was trying his best, poor guy.)

April 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm PST
#6  Mark Jeffords - Ceres, California

Tim, again, great article! I really appreciate your work!

I have an honest question for you though, no hard feelings if you decline to answer it.

My question is, if a living Bishop of the Church had publicly stated exactly the same thing Fr. Barron has, would you have publicly corrected him in a post like this? I ask because it seems from have having listened to Catholic Answer's live for years, that your apostolate has an unspoken policy to never criticize or correct Bishops, even when they publicly proclaim errors.

I don't have any particular Bishop in mind when I say this, I'm not trying to trap you, I'm just curious.

I was frankly quite surprised that you chose to correct such a famous and beloved figure as Fr. Barron. I didn't think Catholic Answers would ever have allowed this sort of thing. I see this as a positive development. And again, I say thank you!

April 11, 2014 at 2:09 pm PST
#7  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

In fact Fr. Baron and Hans von Balthasar are some of those heretics who, having been deceived by their vain learning, lull the children men in their sins under the pretext that God is merciful. That is the tactics of the devil to use men of high repute to make himself seem unreal or to make salvation look so cheap so as to exclude the possibility of eternal damnation. On this point the doctrine of the infallibe Catholic Church which is the word of the immutable incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ, is so clear that even now and not just in the end of time there are souls in hell.

April 11, 2014 at 3:32 pm PST
#8  harold gomes - silver spring, Maryland

Interesting. I have a different take on what Father Barron said there. When he uses the word anyone (as in, we cannot say anyone is in hell), t seems to me that he is meaning *anyone we know,* as in that historical person or this neighbor of mine. I think the key to understanding what Fr. Barron means lies in his sentence, "We can’t see fully to the depths of anyone’s heart; only God can."

In other words, I think that the point of Father's statement is that we just do not know which human beings are in hell and we should hope that those we can name along with those we cannot name, do not end up in hell. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

At any rate, I hope that Tim Staples, whom I respect very much, brought this up (or plans to bring it up) with Father, because he made a point of quoting him in his article. Giving the benefit of the doubt again...

April 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm PST
#9  Robert Callino - FORT PIERCE, Florida

I shall quote in part from Saint Faustina, the messenger of Divine Mercy, about hell:

But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieve that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there. (Diary 741)

I know that this is a private revelation, but I certainly take a saint's word over theological speculation.

April 11, 2014 at 4:39 pm PST
#10  Nick Boggs - Newark, Delaware

It seems to me that whenever our Lord speaks of Hell or anything attributed to it, He's speaking of what 'will' happen to those and not what 'is' happening. The reason being 1.) because prior to Christ's incarnation and while He walked the earth, no one went to Heaven or Hell, they were in a place referred to as either 'Sheol' or 'Paradise'. And 2.) Jesus was likely referring to what 'will' happen at the end of time when He comes again. So I think that quoting the Lord for this particular purpose makes for a weak argument.

I think arguing from a stand point of universal or divine justice would be more applicable in my opinion. But still, even then, it can be proposed that those souls who do fall under that act of justice, may not see their punishment carried out until the Lord comes again.

Can we please stop beating this issue to death now... Frankly, as much as i love the Pope, and will never decent against him, I've seen first hand how his off the cuff remarks have caused more problems among devout Catholics fighting the good fight against liberalism in the Church (don't judge, don't judge, and there are more important things to worry about than gay marriage and abortion), than anything Fr. Barron has said in his Youtube videos.

Also..no quotes from Benedict XVI? If anyone or any pope can be a go-to person on a subject such as this, surely he would be a good choice.

April 11, 2014 at 6:06 pm PST
#11  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

This is an easy topic, if there were not people in hell why would Scripture bring it up? It isn't a scare tactic, it is a reality and there have been a many of saints who have had visions of it. Anyone who has pipe dreams of all souls being saved fall into the same error as the born again crowd. Matthew 25 makes it very clear, but you can back up to Matthew 24 and Jesus makes it clear only those who persevere to the end will be saved. Just remember God doesn't send anyone to hell, these people send themselves!

April 11, 2014 at 8:57 pm PST
#12  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

In fact Fr. Baron and Hans von Balthasar are some of those heretics who, having been deceived by their vain learning, lull the children men in their sins under the pretext that God is merciful. That is the tactics of the devil to use men of high repute to make himself seem unreal or to make salvation look so cheap so as to exclude the possibility of eternal damnation. On this point the doctrine of the infallibe Catholic Church which is the word of the immutable incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ, is so clear that even now and not just in the end of time there are souls in hell.

April 11, 2014 at 9:28 pm PST
#13  Paul Porter - Mundelein, Illinois

Usulor,

Frankly, I'm not sure why Catholic Answers hasn't removed you from their site. Your ridiculous claims do nothing but anger readers against 2 people who have done more for the Church then most (and most certainly you).

Calling Father Baron a heretic is like calling salt, black. Whether or not he is right or wrong, his position is not heretical. He does not argue against the doctrine of hell, he only argues that we should hope against there being souls in there.

Yes, you can likely assume that their are likely souls in hell but at the end of the day WE DON'T KNOW. Logic and reason would assume there are but until God starts revealing names, WE DON'T KNOW. The Church has never declared any individual to be in hell, therefore we should hope there isn't anyone eternally separated from the Creator.

Whether or not I agree with this article or Father Barron is one thing, but I applaud the charity that was shown in it, especially comparing it to the garbage the "Vortex" put out.

That being said, Father Barron is arguably the most respected Catholic voice in America today. Surely it would have been more charitable to meet with Father Barron and present this story together. Disagreements happen, but if you truly believe you are in the right, then a dialogue with America's favorite priest could only help to spread your message.

"If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand." Mark 3:24

Let us not become divided against ourselves.

April 11, 2014 at 10:23 pm PST
#14  Eggbert McGuillicutty - somewhere, Clare

HELLLLLP! ????

April 11, 2014 at 11:32 pm PST
#15  Dan Shakal - Columbus, Ohio

Tim,

Thanks for the response. You might be right in your conclusion as to what Fr. Barron's remarks inevitably lead to. I also think this is certainly something that could benefit from more precise contributions from Fr. Barron himself. He doesn't have much else to do--let's get him on the air or, (on this topic, I think) better yet, an extended interview in writing.

April 12, 2014 at 7:30 am PST
#16  Mark Sandoval - Yucaipa, California

Not sure if you all were aware of this striking fact.......but Tim Staples is the Man! Great article!

April 12, 2014 at 7:32 am PST
#17  Marcos Garcia-Nunez - Temple City, California

In the approved apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, was it not alluded by Mary's statement to the children that many souls go to hell because they do not have anyone to pray for them? Thus, the children were offered the task of offering their sufferings that God would allow to be present in their lives for the sake of preventing that treacherous existence for lost souls? Just thought to share another divinely revealed rendering of the truth of hell's incumbents.

April 12, 2014 at 9:01 am PST
#18  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

How about bringing Fr Barron in on this. Why call him a heretic? Thats ridiculous! Like Mr Stapels, Fr Barron has done awesome things for Catholicism! Some things are left for God to decide. Why spend so much time arguing amongst one another about certain topics - like who's in Hell and who isn't - when we can be focusing on more ecumenical, positive subjects?

April 12, 2014 at 10:04 am PST
#19  Usulor Kenneth - Lagos, Lagos

Fr Baron, "Hans von Balthasar", Paul Porter, Catholic Answers and all of you who have been hurt by my #13 Comment above;

I am heartly sorry for my rash judgement ( CCC 2477-78 ) and therefore do apologise to you all. I am sorry for the damage it may have caused. I said it out of anger I felt about what is contained in this blog post.

But the ideas that there is no soul in hell now and that everyone ( or rather almost everyone ) will be saved are both uncatholic and therefore unscriptural. Therefore to say that "we are not committed doctrinally to saying that anyone is actually "in" such a place" now is akin to that for which John XXII was severely censured namely, that the souls of the just do not enter into beautific vision untill after the final judgement.

April 12, 2014 at 3:21 pm PST
#20  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hey Mark,
In answer to your #6:
I appreciate your very kind words.
I also appreciate that you have noticed we do not make it a practice to go after bishops. Even if we are in the right in these cases, as St. Ignatius of Loyola famously said, we have to calculate whether our "correcting" someone will bring about more problems than it solves. Sometimes it is best to simply pray.
Generally speaking, we, at Catholic Answers, see ourselves as being in sales rather than in management. That does not mean we would never correct a bishop. I have actually seen Karl Keating walk in on a radio program and very gently correct a bishop. But again, generally speaking, we unashamedly choose to walk backwards and cover our spiritual fathers as Shem and Japheth, rather than expose them in the spirit of Ham.
So, to answer your question directly, if a living Bishop of the Church stated the exact same thing as Fr. Barron, I would have no problem offering a correction.
And please know this as well. I first sent Fr. Barron an email asking him for clarification on this matter before I said anything. This is not something that is absolutely necessary. If someone publishes something publicly, they should be prepared for public challenges. I simply make that my practice when I am dealing with, as I said, such "luminaries" as Fr. Barron who does amazing work for our Lord and Holy Mother Church.

April 12, 2014 at 4:54 pm PST
#21  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Harold,
In answer to your #8:
I think Fr. Barron says more than we cannot know that "anyone we know" is in hell. He, along with von Balthasar, holds out the hope, and Fr. Barron claims we must also, that all people will finally be saved. That's the problem. As I said in my post, I agree that "we can't see fully to the depths of anyone's heart;" at least, not without a private revelation. But he says more than that. He claims we can reasonably hope that all people will finally be saved. Jesus does not agree, nor does the Church in CCC 1034.
And as I said on my above comment, I did bring this up via email with Fr. Barron. I received a note that he was too busy to respond. He gets tons of email. And I appreciate that. I do not fault him at all.
I am always open to correction on this or any other matter.

April 12, 2014 at 5:05 pm PST
#22  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Nick,
In response to your #10:
It is not true that "no one went to... Hell" before the advent of Christ, and that no one will go to either heaven or hell before the second coming. Jesus makes clear in his story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16, that there is a particular judgment immediately after death and the eternity of all souls is determined at that time. The rich man is seen in torment while the poor man was in paradise.
It is true, "paradise" was not "heaven" wherein the blessed will possess God in the beatific vision. That could not happen until the resurrection. But Abraham and all of the Old Testament saints who were finally justified were in a definitive state of happiness awaiting the resurrection and their salvation was secure.
Likewise, the condemned before the time of Christ existed in a damned state even before the advent of Christ.
And I don't think quoting Jesus about hell makes for a "weak argument." The Church does it incessantly and we should too. Jesus is God. Enough said.

April 12, 2014 at 5:15 pm PST
#23  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Eggbert,
In response to you #14:
You're still alive, man! There's still hope!

April 12, 2014 at 5:17 pm PST
#24  harold gomes - silver spring, Maryland

Thanks for your gracious response to my post. I'm glad to know that you did reach out to Father Barron. in regards to what you said about hoping that all might be saved. I haven't really bothered to read Balthasar because I'm not a fan of too many words because they complicate things that are so simple in my mind… so I'll take your word for what he says. But as for Father Barron, is it possible takes a differently nuanced position? Could it be possible that he means that we should all out the hope that everyone that we *know* or can *know* would end up in heaven?

April 12, 2014 at 7:00 pm PST
#25  Julian Barkin - Toronto, Ontario

Hello Tim,

I would like to suggest that you do a part two on this issue, looking at the other side of the spectrum .... that is the claims Michael Voris made when he took Fr. Barron to task on this topic.

FYI, one of your former CA mates, Mark Shea, also covered this and the two sides on this issue, but I think it's only fair that Catholic Answers does the same as the "gold standard" of apologetics, so to speak.

April 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm PST
#26  Rob Fenske - Paso Robles, California

Tim,
You have been blessed with a great deal of talent and I have benefited greatly from your work. I have also benefited greatly from Fr. Barron's work. WOF ministries and Catholic Answers are two organizations that I would put at the top of my list as organizations that meet the call for The New Evangelization and now it seems that one is going after the other. Is this really worth your time and talent? What has been accomplished? You even have commenters calling Fr. Barron a heretic. You have said that you reached out to Fr. Barron with no response, did you reach out to his boss Cardinal George? If anyone has the job of correcting Fr. Barron it would be him. Please tell me that this blog post was the last resort to correct an error that could not be corrected any other way. I have nothing but respect for Catholic Answers but turning the guns on a fellow soldier troubles me greatly.

April 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm PST
#27  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with one another as long as the final outcome lines up with that of the Magisterium. If a Catholic goes public with a belief outside of the Catechism and Magisterium, then yes they need to be called out on it. The first approach should be to correct the error privately, but if that doesn't work then do it publicly.

April 13, 2014 at 4:34 am PST
#28  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

Amen Rob Fenske! One of the reason I STOPPED listening to Michael Vorris is his ridiculous "in-house" judgments. It'd be a different story if Fr Barron were claiming some far-fetched crazy idea of women ordination, or "consubstantiation," etc - but he's not. All he is doing is applying a peaceful and hopeful means to a scary topic. He is a priest and deserves respect. To many Catholics are caught up with left/right wing "opinions" causing progressive/ traditional splits. We dont need anymore of this **** in our faith! We need unity. Why dont we work JW's, Mormons and Satanists? Why attack WOF?

April 13, 2014 at 5:48 am PST
#29  Rob Fenske - Paso Robles, California

Christopher I don't disagree with you and I would add that nobody is above correction, not a popular priest who does much for the Church or even a bishop. However the issue as I see it is not whether correction is needed but rather by whom and how? My children often need correction but it is my job and my place to give it most of the time. However if they were to run out into the street and I wasn't there then it would be expected that anyone with the ability would save (correct) them. I don't see this error causing people to leave the Church or causing some other large scandal so maybe this was not the best way to handle it. I agree with Clinton that if this was some monumental dissent from Church teaching then this might be appropriate as long as all the initial steps were taken. I hear over and over on Catholic Answers Live that when correcting a priest and/ or pastor you go to them first, then to their bishop. Were these steps taken? Tim has not shared whether he did all could before this very public correction, so until he does I would say he overstepped.

April 13, 2014 at 8:30 am PST
#30  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Actually, Rob, I did send an email to Fr. Barron first before I wrote my post. As I said above, that is really not necessary, strictly speaking. If someone publishes something, he is opening himself up to the public forum for legitimate debate. However, I do make it a practice to always first go to the individual I have a problem with before I go public, especially if it is a "luminary" like Fr. Barron.
I received a note back from Fr. Barron's spokesperson informing me that he was too overwhelmed with correspondence to be able to get to mine. I replied back that I understood. And as I said above, I do not fault Fr. Barron for that. I know what being overwhelmed with emails is all about. I am 250 behind right now.
But having said that, I made the judgment that the questions put to us about this came from enough and varied sources that it merited a public response. In fact, I was asked to respond not only by folks outside of Catholic Answers, but I was asked to consider doing so my our own radio department.
In the end, these matters are always a judgment call. Should we respond or not. I believe I did the right thing. I'll report, you decide.

April 13, 2014 at 9:01 am PST
#31  Clinton Ufford - Sweet Home, Oregon

Semper Fi Tim, Im still be hind ya. Coming from a Protestant background, I discontent just irritates me.

April 13, 2014 at 9:35 am PST
#32  Rob Fenske - Paso Robles, California

Fair enough, I'll leave it at that. Thank you for responding.

April 13, 2014 at 9:52 am PST
#33  Jimmy Roane - Allen, Texas

Tim, right on. Appreciate your honesty in dealing with the issue. Hans von Balthasar is certainly a courageous apologists, I have gained much insight from him on the subject. You and I have similar backgrounds. Appreciate your work.

April 13, 2014 at 2:14 pm PST
#34  Margaret Gursey - Hornell, New York

During a trip to Medjugorje years ago one of the visionaries asked this of the Blessed Mother. Her reply was that the only people that go to hell were those souls that despise God (I'm paraphrasing). This makes perfect sense to me because it expresses Gods unending mercy and love to those that ACCEPT it.

April 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm PST
#35  Mark Jeffords - Ceres, California

Tim, thanks for your response!

There are a few issues I disagree with you all about, in general, I wish Catholic Answers would do more to fight against the Heterodoxy in the Sacred Hierarchy.

Fr. Barron's position on Hell and damnation, isn't unique. As you pointed out, Father was influenced by Hans Urs von Balthasar, who no doubt has influenced many other priests over the years, some of whom have since become Bishops. And the Church's teaching on Hell isn't the only thing they dissent from either.

I don't think Fr. Barron is a bad guy, I actually have one of his DVD's on my shelf right now and I've bought copies for other people. But it's a fact the we don't live in a time when we can trust that most of our spiritual fathers will be feeding us good food, they way we could have in times past.

I think every Catholic that understands this and wants it to change, has an obligation to accompany prayers with action.

Maybe you feel differently, either way, I stay with Catholic Answers despite the disagreements I have because for one, I can count on you guys to be honest. For example, I didn't expect you were going to answer my question, but you did, and I respect that.

April 13, 2014 at 5:48 pm PST
#36  Nick Boggs - Newark, Delaware

@ Tim Staples;

Thanks Tim for clarifying what happened to souls prior to the Resurrection; I'm humbled. I am aware that souls are immediately judged after we die, I just thought that (within the context of the discussion about Fr. Barron's statement) maybe those souls who are judged to damnation may not serve out that sentence until Christ's second coming.

Could you expand further on the "damned state" that souls prior to Christ experienced, and how it was different than Hell?

My comment about quoting Jesus being a "weak" argument was dumb I know, but what I meant was that (in my opinion) from the quotes that you had used, those quotes didn't seem overly definitive or clear-cut for making your case, they seemed tom imply what 'will' happen to souls, not what 'was' happening to souls. It's just that whenever the issue of Hell comes up in the many discussions I've had with other people, usually Protestants, the issue of divine or universal justice seems to be the topic, not whether or not people are currently inhabiting Hell. So I just thought that arguing for your point against Fr. Barron's, making the argument for souls in Hell because it satisfies that need for justice seems to make for an easier case in my opinion; that's all. Thanks, and God Bless : )

April 13, 2014 at 6:07 pm PST
#37  Paul Porter - Mundelein, Illinois

Tim,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to our questions. You have exhibited a great deal of charity that is commendable and unheard of in debate today. I promise that your work is not unappreciated!

Usulor,

Thank you for the apology and I certainly understand. Nothing disturbs us more then thinking that our faith is being attacked from within! We have all been there. But Fr. Barron/WOF and Catholic Answers are two of the greatest assets to the Catholic Church in America today. It would be a great victory for Satan to turn these two against each other.

April 13, 2014 at 8:15 pm PST
#38  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

There is no doubt there is a heaven and there is a hell. This is a reality, and a reality revealed to my wife and I, it is the reason I came back to the church after 25 years and why my wife who never had a faith came into the church. There is one truth, they both exist and ONLY our Lord knows who goes where. We do not need to know, and neither are we worthy to comprehend such a sensitive matter. It involves our family, friends, those we love and those we do not love as much. Our Lord alone has the burden of making such infinate and eternal decisions. This is Holy week and I plead with you all to unite with me in our Lord's passion, let's all put away any and all differences and stand at the foot of the cross together with our Blessed Mother. Let us all comfort her and share in her pain as she watches her Son suffer so much and die. I love you all an ask for your prayers, this is the time I feel anguish for my sins that played a part in our Lord's crucifixion. I am asking you all to spirutually hold my hand and let's bow our heads at the foot of the cross together, this isn't our time, this is our Saviors time and nothing needs to distract us. Peace be with you all.

April 13, 2014 at 9:28 pm PST
#39  Jimmy Roane - Allen, Texas

Since the temporality of Hell is evident when Hell is cast into the Lake of Fire-which is the second death (Rev. 20:14), can Hell then be considered Purgatory, or a chamber in Purgatory and perhaps the Lake of Fire the execution chamber?

April 14, 2014 at 10:10 am PST
#40  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Jimmy,
If you read just four verses earlier, "the Lake of Fire" was just described as a place where "the devil," "the beast," and "the false prophet" were thrown and where "they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." The Lake of Fire is not a place where there is cessation of being.
Rev. 14:9-10 had also added that all those who "worship the beast and its image" would be thrown into that same "Lake of Fire" as well to be "tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest, day or night..."
This is why I would say "Hell" in Rev. 20:14 would not be Purgatory. Purgatory is temporary; the Lake of Fire is not. It would represent those who were damned via the Particular Judgment at the time of death, but had not been finally judged with all of humanity at the final "Great White Throne Judgment." At the final judgment, they are then judged and "thrown into the Lake of Fire," which represents the damned with their bodies going to their final "place" of damnation. Up to that time, they had been in "Hell," but as mere souls.

April 14, 2014 at 9:58 pm PST
#41  K Berg - hennef, Nordrhein-Westfalen

As a recent convert from Wisconsin Synod Lutheran , I hope FR Barron takes the time to give a rebuttal on this subject of Hell . I don't care how busy one is at the time .... , were talking Heaven and Hell issues here , and souls who could be going there quite literally .
I am sure Fr Barron is up to the task . I pray ...

April 14, 2014 at 11:43 pm PST
#42  Benson Jones - Columbia, South Carolina

"3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time."

Two things: 1. If God can hope for all men to be saved, why can't we? Also if God hopes for all men to be saved and souls were already lost, why would he even hope? It doesn't make much sense to hope for something that has no hope right? It would be like hoping for my dead grandfather to make my birthday celebration this year on earth (assuming the resurrection hasn't occurred yet).

2. Is Universal Reconciliation considered a heresy in the Catholic Church? If you look back in time, plenty of saints have eluded to beliefs in such things occurring (ex. St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Clement of Alexandria). Universal reconciliation has been a position held by many throughout the centuries and was not that uncommon amongst those in Alexandria in the early church, espicially before Augustine brought along his "Massa Damnata." So I wonder--should be condemning this position or just committing to dialogue with the approach that either position is acceptable? Also is there a difference between Universal Salvation and Universal Reconciliation?

April 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm PST
#43  Benson Jones - Columbia, South Carolina

"3This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time."

Two things: 1. If God can hope for all men to be saved, why can't we? Also if God hopes for all men to be saved and souls were already lost, why would he even hope? It doesn't make much sense to hope for something that has no hope right? It would be like hoping for my dead grandfather to make my birthday celebration this year on earth (assuming the resurrection hasn't occurred yet).

2. Is Universal Reconciliation considered a heresy in the Catholic Church? If you look back in time, plenty of saints have eluded to beliefs in such things occurring (ex. St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Gregory of Nazianzus, St. Clement of Alexandria). Universal reconciliation has been a position held by many throughout the centuries and was not that uncommon amongst those in Alexandria in the early church, espicially before Augustine brought along his "Massa Damnata." So I wonder--should be condemning this position or just committing to dialogue with the approach that either position is acceptable? Also is there a difference between Universal Salvation and Universal Reconciliation?

April 15, 2014 at 2:15 pm PST
#44  Tim Staples - El Cajon, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Benson,
God does not "hope" for anything. The theological virtues of "faith," and "hope," apply only to we wayfaring humans (and the demons who do not have beatific knowledge, at least where faith in concerned, see James 2). Faith and hope disappear when soul attain to heaven and see him face to face (I Cor. 13:12ff).
God "wills" all to be saved in an antecedent sense. But it becomes God's consequent will for souls to go to hell who reject his antecedent will for them.
As far as your point of "hoping for something that has no hope," that is why I said it depends what we mean by "hoping all men to be saved." If by that we mean because we do not know, apart from a private revelation (as Pope St. John Paul the Great soon-to-be said), which individuals are in hell, we can then hold out hope that any individual we can think of could be saved, then we are right on. If by "hoping all people will be saved," we are hoping that hell will be forever empty, that is contrary to the teaching of the Church as I alluded to in my post (CCC 1034, etc.). That is a false hope.
Universal Reconciliation, or "Origenism," as it was called in antiquity, was never formally and infallibly condemned by the Church (the apparent condemnations at II Constantinople, it turns out, were later additions without papal approbation). Thus, we cannot call it formal heresy. However, it is grave error that no Catholic is free to teach as Catholic Church teaching. It is not even an acceptable opinion in the Church.

April 16, 2014 at 9:07 am PST
#45  toral vora - oslo, Vestfold

Spam deleted.

April 16, 2014 at 5:53 pm PST
#46  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Toral, you are messing where you shouldn't be messing. I can assure you that evil will disguise itself and trick you. What all you said brings back some very bad memories. My prayers will be with all of you because I know where this is heading.

April 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm PST
#47  Phil Terbay - Niniveh, Illinois

Christopher, do you believe that evil can be discerned by humans and be prevented or overcome? Or are we hapless and laying and in wait? I believe the former and any spell casters in Toral's world are nothing more than soothsayers who have no real power, good or evil (though their intent may be "good").

I don't believe we should be so concerned with these beliefs rather we should be concerned with offering real help to our community, consolation, empathy, support. Once we gain trust through those efforts, belief in the goodness of the Church can be cultivated.

April 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm PST
#48  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Phil, I cringe when I hear people taking such evil lightly. I guess I should tell you why before I answer your question. Three years ago this subject would have been laughable to me, my faith was pretty much non existant, my wife grew up never having gone to church, not even once. Strange things started occuring in our lives and in our house. My wife thought it was just a friendly ghost or a trapped spirit. She began communicating with it thinking it was cool and that she may be able to help it. Even though I never looked at the situation through the eyes of faith I told her it was a bad idea and to leave it alone. She didn't listen and kept on. Then on the night of Jan. 29 2011 we found out it wasn't a friendly ghost, this evil entity seemed straight out of hell. When it first began I thought she was having a heart attack or stroke, she couldn't speak and was just murmering, she dug her head into my chest and nails into my back, it didn't take me long to figure out why. I wish I had room to put the whole story on here but there isn't room so let me sum it up. This demon attack happened twice that night and for a considerable amount of time. It was the worst night of our lives because the pure hell we went through, it was also the best night because we found Jesus, we didn't have a choice. I begged and pleaded for God to help us that night, there was no where else to turn. God did come to our rescue and peace and love overcame the darkness. It took a couple days for the shock to wear off, I went to Mass two days later on a Monday morning for the first time besides Christmas and Easter in 25 years. The reading was about Jesus casting out demons. I was scared and sitting towards the back, when it came time for the priest's homily he walked down the middle aisle and looked me straight in the eyes with a stern look and said..."You better believe demons are real!" Needless to say the message from our Lord was loud and clear. My wife who had no faith went through RCIA, was baptised and is now Catholic, I came back to my faith and we have never missed Mass since.

Ever since then detecting evil is like an extra sense. We both can now sense it in certain people and places. We know how dangerous of what looks harmless can actually be. St. Paul tells us there is a war between principalities, not a school yard fight, but WAR. I'm telling you and everyone else because of my experience to PLEASE take these inspired words from the Holy Spirit through St, Paul seriously. Physcics, witchcraft, cults, black magic, and hauntings are not be be messed with or taking with a grain of salt, they are extemely dangerous and could very well cost somebody their life. Evil likes to disguise itself as harmless and you don't want to be caught off guard when it decides to rear its ugly head.

So yes, evil does have power, fallen angels are far superior to our puny human intellect, and satan is real. He works through people, and many of these people do not stand out in a crowd. Not only should everyone be worried, they should be very worried and praying vigilantly. My experience since my conversion has been that most people who have not experienced such evil as my wife and I encountered, tend to take such things lightly. All the things Toral went through with her husband are nothing compared to the evil she could be messing with. Things may seem smoother and look good on the surface, but I'm warning of what really lies in wait and that is hidden. Satan is cunning and likes to offer goodies. BEWARE and pray for her. Phil, I can see why you take it lightly, I did too before reality hit home. I could have lost my wife that night three years ago, neither of us will ever be the same and it is why I take such matters more seriously than most. Please pray for Toral, you and everyone who reads this!

April 17, 2014 at 5:48 am PST
#49  Benson Jones - Columbia, South Carolina

It's hard for me to accept this bleak view of life--that beings will/are conscientiously suffering for all ETERNITY, for temporal decisions. Now I recognize that there are wicked people that have walked this earth and that are right now. But it makes no sense that a normal human, who lives a decent life (I say decent b/c everyone makes big mistakes) and isn't Catholic/Christian/religious should suffer for eternity because they didn't believe in a certain worldview. And in our time now, when finding what is true is so hard because there is so much information and opinions being thrown about, I think it is even more preposterous.

Also, we have to look at the whole Christian story if the traditional approach to hell is true. Original sin is passed down to all of us thanks to our first parents. So technically, you are born sinful and told to make yourself better (and in the Christian religion there are thousands of views on how to do this) or else you'll suffer for eternity. You are rebellious not because you chose it, but because someone before you did.

As a Christian I do believe that there is a hell but I believe that the love and grace of God is much greater than man's sin and lack of knowledge of him. Therefore, I think those that have a bleak eternal outlook are going to be very surprised in the new world. This topic is more of a struggle for me than an opinion. I wrestle with this a lot and it seems I will continue for a long time. I admit that I am human and could be wrong and I respect all that hold a different view. But to me "there has to be more to life than buying the right fire insurance."

April 17, 2014 at 9:07 am PST
#50  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"It's hard for me to accept this bleak view of life--that beings will/are conscientiously suffering for all ETERNITY, for temporal decisions."

Contemplating hell is difficult and terrifying for us all. You're here though, so you're subject to the bleak view of life whether you like it or not.

"But it makes no sense that a normal human, who lives a decent life (I say decent b/c everyone makes big mistakes) and isn't Catholic/Christian/religious should suffer for eternity because they didn't believe in a certain worldview."

What does your use of the term "decent life" entail?

"And in our time now, when finding what is true is so hard because there is so much information and opinions being thrown about, I think it is even more preposterous. "

Discerning truth is hard. You're hinting at something more than that though. You seem to (at least to some degree) have bought into the idea that there's no way man can know the truth and that it's not even fair to ask him to try.

"Original sin is passed down to all of us thanks to our first parents. So technically, you are born sinful and told to make yourself better (and in the Christian religion there are thousands of views on how to do this) or else you'll suffer for eternity."

Give this a article on original sin a read. Pay specific attention to the sections "Nature of original sin" and "How voluntary".

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm

"As a Christian I do believe that there is a hell but I believe that the love and grace of God is much greater than man's sin and lack of knowledge of him."

Well, yeah. I believe that too. Now that we have established that you do believe in hell, would you mind clarifying what you believe hell is?

April 17, 2014 at 11:10 am PST
#51  Benson Jones - Columbia, South Carolina

"Contemplating hell is difficult and terrifying for us all. You're here though, so you're subject to the bleak view of life whether you like it or not."

I am not subject to it if the "bleak view" if it is incorrect/non-existent. Which I think it is at the moment.

"What does your use of the term "decent life" entail?"

I think we probably have a similar idea of what this is. Living a moral life, One that treats his neighbor as himself, etc... Granted, people will make mistakes and sometimes big ones but that doesn't make them bad, especially if they regret them. You may want to ask "what is a moral life?" And the fact is we could go on for days about what this means, so I will leave it you--we can agree that most people understand fundamentally what a moral life is or we can just drop it because I don't want to write a 10 page paper on what a moral life is. Not trying to be smart, I just really don't have the time to delve into a "what is a moral life" discussion.

"Discerning truth is hard. You're hinting at something more than that though. You seem to (at least to some degree) have bought into the idea that there's no way man can know the truth and that it's not even fair to ask him to try."

I think certainly there are limitations to the amount of truth man can know. We are in fact finite beings. I'm not implying the idea that it's "not even fair to ask him to try" though. However, I am saying that holding him accountable to not knowing, even when he/she has tried is unfair. There are too many ideas/opinions that have supporting arguments that make finding objective truth more difficult, no matter how hard someone may try. I know because I'm experiencing it.

"Give this a article on original sin a read. Pay specific attention to the sections "Nature of original sin" and "How voluntary".

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11312a.htm"

I will read it in time. Thank you.

"Well, yeah. I believe that too. Now that we have established that you do believe in hell, would you mind clarifying what you believe hell is?"

I don't know exactly what it is. 1. I've never been. 2. We only have clues. I tend to like the way C.S. Lewis puts it when he says "the gates of hell are locked from the inside." However, just because I like it doesn't make it true. I think all we know is that Hell is a place/state of suffering for those that reject God in some fashion in this life or when presented before him after death. I think making certain statements about what happens after death is irresponsible and arrogant. I'd rather say we "may" know or "we have clues" to what might happen. Peace.

April 17, 2014 at 11:49 am PST
#52  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"I am not subject to it if the "bleak view" if it is incorrect/non-existent. Which I think it is at the moment."

You were honest about the fact that your opinion could be wrong. That being said, it seems you're in no place to proclaim the doctrine either incorrect or non-existent. Guess what? Neither am I. So we're in the same boat, which you earlier described as bleak.

"I think we probably have a similar idea of what this is. Living a moral life, One that treats his neighbor as himself, etc..."

Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. The potential for our disagreement on the subject was the point of the question.

"You may want to ask "what is a moral life?" And the fact is we could go on for days about what this means, so I will leave it you--"

Yes, I could go on for days. It's one of my favorite topics.

"we can agree that most people understand fundamentally what a moral life is or we can just drop it because I don't want to write a 10 page paper on what a moral life is. Not trying to be smart, I just really don't have the time to delve into a "what is a moral life" discussion."

Actually, we don't agree here. I understand your desire for brevity so I won't argue the point.

"I think certainly there are limitations to the amount of truth man can know."

I agree. I'm also of the opinion that there are limitations to the amount of truth that an individual will accept. It's the second point where I do hold individuals responsible for their failures, to include myself.

"However, I am saying that holding him accountable to not knowing, even when he/she has tried is unfair."

Is it? We do it everyday don't we?

"I don't know exactly what it is. 1. I've never been."

Nice. I've never been to Israel either, but I take the biblical descriptions of it pretty seriously. I like C.S. Lewis's thoughts on both Heaven and hell. I take it you've read the Great Divorce?

"I think all we know is that Hell is a place/state of suffering for those that reject God in some fashion in this life or when presented before him after death."

Then we agree on more than we disagree.

"I think making certain statements about what happens after death is irresponsible and arrogant. I'd rather say we "may" know or "we have clues" to what might happen. Peace."

Statements like...

"I am not subject to it if the "bleak view" if it is incorrect/non-existent. Which I think it is at the moment."

April 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm PST
#53  Benson Jones - Columbia, South Carolina

"Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong. The potential for our disagreement on the subject was the point of the question."

I think you'd find we would probably agree more than disagree. haha.

"Yes, I could go on for days. It's one of my favorite topics."

Agreed, it is a fun discussion.

"I'm also of the opinion that there are limitations to the amount of truth that an individual will accept."

I agree with this as well. I myself am not Catholic and the reason being, I can't allow myself to accept some doctrines that are claimed to be "truth." I like Catholicism but I can't be Catholic because I can't accept some things that are in my mind too difficult to prove as "truth". This is easier for some people overcome and accept. Clearly, I see myself as an example of your statement.

"Is it? We do it everyday don't we?"

I'm sure we do, but is it in our best judgement to do so?

"Nice. I've never been to Israel either, but I take the biblical descriptions of it pretty seriously."

As do I. I just question which interpretation should be accepted as truth. Like I said, there are many opinions.

"Statements like...

'I am not subject to it if the "bleak view" if it is incorrect/non-existent. Which I think it is at the moment.'"

I would like to key in on a phrase I used in the quote you used above: "certain statements." I think a better wording of the phrase would have been "statements of certainty." I never made any "statements of certainty" about what happens after death. I only mentioned what "I think at the moment," to paraphrase. My opinion could change at any time. It's always important to allow your mind to be changed, or else you may stubbornly always be accepting a delusion.

April 17, 2014 at 1:48 pm PST
#54  Eric Vanderburg - Yukon, Oklahoma

"I think you'd find we would probably agree more than disagree. haha."

Perhaps. Still, I'm certain the points of disagreement would be major ones. Lol

"I'm sure we do, but is it in our best judgement to do so?"

I judge people's worldviews every day. Very critically I might add. Even you're statement "It's always important to allow your mind to be changed, or else you may stubbornly always be accepting a delusion." is a critique of a certain worldview. A fair one too.

"As do I. I just question which interpretation should be accepted as truth. Like I said, there are many opinions. "

Utilizing scripture and tradition, let's just say I find the classic view of hell both coherent and justifiable. Despite the nasty feeling it might give me in my gut. I will say, I pray the Rosary in which I utter the words "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy". So, despite what you might think, I also hope for the salvation of all souls.

"I only mentioned what "I think at the moment," to paraphrase. My opinion could change at any time. It's always important to allow your mind to be changed, or else you may stubbornly always be accepting a delusion."

I know what you're saying. I myself am very stubborn. Usually, it proves to be a personality flaw. On rare occasions, it has proved invaluable though. Especially in regards to my faith. In which (let's be honest) statements of certainty are hard to come by.

If you enjoy C.S. Lewis, might I recommend G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Much of what it covers is relevant to the topics we've been discussing. Thank you for the polite exchange. You might be surprised to find that those are more and more of a rarity. Even amongst Christians. Ha ha

God Bless

April 17, 2014 at 2:54 pm PST
#55  Benson Jones - Columbia, South Carolina

"If you enjoy C.S. Lewis, might I recommend G.K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Much of what it covers is relevant to the topics we've been discussing. Thank you for the polite exchange. You might be surprised to find that those are more and more of a rarity. Even amongst Christians. Ha ha"

Yes, I have been meaning to read that book for a looonngg time now but haven't got around to it. Hopefully your comment will motivate me to go buy it. I enjoyed the discussion as well and I know exactly what you mean. Happy Good Friday!

April 18, 2014 at 6:03 am PST
#56  Jimmy Roane - Allen, Texas

Tim, regarding your answer in #40 above. You will also notice that the verse says "night and day" for ever, and ever (i.e., the ages of ages); however, those ages must cease since in the new heaven and the new earth there is no night, only day. Does this, indeed, indicate the temporality not only of Hell (since it is thrown into the Lake of Fire, which is the second death) and apparently the Lake of Fire does its work and "burns out" prior to the commencement of the New Heaven and the New Earth. Any comments?

April 19, 2014 at 11:27 am PST
#57  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Actually there is no Hell. Hell comes from Sheol and means grave. The punishment for sin is death which is cessation of life, period.
The lies with hell and immortality of soul has crept in Christianity after the death of apostles. The Bible clearly states that the soul dies. Check Ezechiel 18.
But there is a mother harlot and lots of daughters (Rev 17) who has denatured the true character of God YHWH.
They teach that salvation comes only through their organization effectively replacing God.
Salvation comes from God the Father and is not offered yet to the world only to the true Church which will become part of the new Christ ruling from Heaven. They are the only ones who will go to Heaven having received spiritual bodies. The rest of the people will be judged during the Millennium reign of Christ (Head and body) and they will receive human bodies.
The Church/ Bride was pictured in the tribe of Levites which did not receive land (Jos 13:33), the rest of the tribes represented the world which will live here on Earth after the probation period of 1000 years.

April 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm PST
#58  Heidi Keene - Ellison bay, Wisconsin

@#57:
Ez 18 is God's clarification to the people that, contrary to what they formerly believed that a man's sins were handed down generationally, that each man pays for his sin alone- not his father's sins. To the ancient Israelites this seemed an outrage. Verse 19 "yet you say, why should not the son suffer for the inequity of his father?"
In these passages, Ezekiel does say that the sinner will die and the righteous live but just as in the Garden of Eden God told Adam he would die if he ate the fruit- this is spiritual death ie. a soul cut off permanently from the Divine Life.
God will not destroy souls, because that would be to take back the gift He has given when He gave the life. God does not "change His mind" and "scrap" souls with some kind of Divine delete key.

As far as the idea of hell, is there anyone you know who would be in utter agony if made to sit through a one hour liturgy? This person is in hell already precisely because they have set themselves in opposition to God. If a person chooses (supposing they are rational and therefore free) to live every day despising God, what "reasonable hope" should we hold that this same person will choose to love God in the very last moment of life?

1 COR 9: 25 ¶ Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Finally, hell is the necessary corollary of Divine justice. We all want to experience Divine Mercy, but God's justice is just as much a Divine perfection and therefore desirable.
The Divine Bridegroom will not force Himself on anyone. Like the devil- the reprobate experience the fire of God's love as burning pain. The elect feel this same fire as Divine Love.
Thus, BOTH heaven and hell are in the will.

April 19, 2014 at 4:41 pm PST
#59  Innertruth chi - ba, Glasgow

Death to the church; Christianity and its mind control; free yourselves from this absolute ********; wake up! to this dream world, free your minds and hearts!

April 19, 2014 at 5:46 pm PST
#60  Innertruth chi - ba, Glasgow

Absolute death, wipe it from the face of the earth, destroy its destructive, hateful and controlling teachings

April 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm PST
#61  Innertruth chi - ba, Glasgow

F*ck this world and it horrible ***** f*ckning religious teachings that mentally destroy and f*ck up beautiful beings. May the christian faith die out in the most powerful way.

April 19, 2014 at 6:51 pm PST
#62  Justin Legault - Ottawa, Ontario

I don't know if it is de fide or not that some human beings are, or will be, damned. But I DO know that the texts you cite do not say what you claim they say. The worst misreading is that of the Fourth Lateran Council. No council can produce a new public revelation, since public revelation is limited to what is in the Bible and what was revealed to the apostles and handed down from them. A council can only interpret what has already been revealed. But nothing in the Bible and nothing handed down from the apostles said "Some of those alive in the year 1215 will be damned." So for the council to be saying what you claim it says, it would have to be pronouncing a new public revelation, which it cannot do. Re-read the text, and think about it, and you will see that it only says that all now living will, at the last judgement, receive in their flesh what they deserve, whether this is heaven or hell; it does NOT say some of those then living would be damned, any more than it says that some of those then living would go to heaven. Ask yourself this question: could the council know that some of those then still alive would certainly go to heaven? Of course not! For all the council knew, everyone then alive might end up in hell. But if the council was not declaring that some then alive were definitively saved, then it was not declaring that some then alive were definitively damned.
As for the second version of the second text you cite, it does not say, "Some human beings are damned, but we don't know which ones." It continues to present human damnation as a "real possibility" rather than as an actuality. There is a diffence between a mathematician saying, "I can prove that there exists at least one prime number between 2 to the power of 57,885,161 and 2 to the power of 100,000,000, but I don't know which", and him saying "there is a real possiblitiy that some number between these two numbers is prime, but I don't know which."
As for the third text you cite, the question JP II is asking is can God "who has loved man so much permit" the eternal torment of those who reject him--i.e. is the damnation of some human beings consistent with God's love. His citation of Matthew is to show that the answer must be an unequivocal yes. But it is one thing to say that the damnation of some human beings is consistent with God's love; it is another to say that some human beings will certainly be damned. JP II may be saying the second as well--I don't know. But NOTHING in his remarks, or in the text from Matthew that he cites, gives us the certitude that that some human beings are in hell NOW. It remains possible, however unlikely, that all of the damned are yet to be born. You yourself use the future tense in commenting on this passage: "there will be souls in hell", rather than "there are". In any case, this passage from Matthew should probably be interpreted in precisely the same way as we must interpret CCC 1034, which talks about "all evil doers" being thrown into the eternal fire. If Christ came to call evil doers to repentence, and despite Christ's efforts on our behalf, all evil doers go to hell, then the incarnation and Christ's suffering on the cross are absurd. "All evil doers" must be interpreted as "all evil doers who do not repent", all who persist in their sins to the end--these are the ones to be cast into the fire. Christ is telling us, stop sinning, or you will be cast into the eternal fire. Most of you are walking the broad and easy path that leads to damnation. Get off of it; look for the straight and narrow way that leads to heaven, and persevere in it. Here's what's going to happen to you on judgement day IF YOU DON'T CHANGE YOUR WAYS.

April 19, 2014 at 10:02 pm PST
#63  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Innertruth chi, you are not the first one to hate Christians nor will you be the last. Because the Light of Christ always shines over the darkness, your hatred is in vain. Today we celebrate Christ's victory over the same kind of hatred you are displaying. It was people like you that spat in our Lord's face, mocked Him, cursed Him, publicly humiliated Him, whipped and beat Him, and hung Him on a cross to die. He didn't show hatred for what they did, He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. Our Savior overcame that hatred and death, and what started out as a few believers has blossomed into billions. The religious and political authorities of that time thought they too could extinguish the Light, but their persecutions only made His message more clear. You don't have to be a Christian if you do not wish, that is your own free will, but we are not going away and we too will pick up our cross and follow our Lord. The more you hate us the more we will love and pray for you. Have a nice day and may you find peace in your heart one day.

April 20, 2014 at 5:40 am PST
#64  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

It is teaching like this that made Innertruth chi react the way he did. Teachings that say our God tortures His creation. These lies has crept into Christianity after the death of apostles and Nicolaitians (Nike=conqueror laity=regular people) have distorted God's character and plan. The Bible teaches that the punishment for sin is death and death is cessation of all senses. The soul dies for the soul is the human being and when he/she dies, the soul dies. the fact that souls are people is shown in Genesis when God made Adam a living soul, it doesn't say it gave him an immortal soul. Also check Gen. 46:26.
Even higher hierarchy angels can and will die if they disobey God

Heb 2: 14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death.

So, the devil himself will be destroyed and he is far superior to a human being.
All creation of God is subject to cessation of existence, from the highest ranking angel to lowest human.
But the lie from Eden is perpetuated today from the pulpit: Ye shall not die.
More over Satan has distorted the true character of God and present Him as someone who tortures. Such a god is not worthy of worship. Hitler was much better than such god. Hitler put an end to his enemies sufferings, but this god does not. Only a sick mind can come up with such thing. And my God is not sick. His name is Yahveh and He does not torture. Moloch does. And this is what Christianity has come to worship: Moloch. Look at Jer. 7:31 and Jer. 19:5 and see that YHWH never has in mind such things.

But Satan was at work from the beginning and through the false prophetess Jezebel and her false priests Nicolaitians who took a higher position and surrounded themselves of pompous titles have poisoned the pure wine and gave this potion to all to drink. The result is what we see here: people vomit at such description of God.
Gods plan is to select the Levites, the priests and kings who during the Millennial reign of complete Christ (Head=Jesus and members=true believers) will bring back in harmony with God the entire human race. Isaiah 35 shows how God will open a highway for the people to walk on to perfection during the reign of Christ. Meanwhile, the Levites/Bride/Church is selected under the same conditions Her Groom was tested, to reject the lies of the harlot mother and her daughters (Rev. 17) and choose the truth which will conceive this Levite to a new spiritual nature (John ch. 3) to be born on spirit plane and become part of Christ.
The Levite will be allowed to enter the Holy chamber where will see the truth in Menorah light not the natural light that was outside the Tent. He/she feasts on the food (teachings) from the table of shewbread and after this conceiving the birth of a new creature (spiritual) takes place thus entering the Holy of Holies where will see the Shekinah (YHWH)
The rest of Israel awaits outside until consecration of priests is complete. After that they will come to bless the people (Lev 9:23)
This is the second reaping (Exod 34:22) the late harvest.
Also apostle Paul shows that the world is waiting for the completion of Bride so they can also benefit from the sacrifice at Golgotha. (Rom.8:19-23)
The world will get to know God in His true light during the Millennium (second phase of Redemption) when Jezebel and her false prophets (and daughters) will be exposed. All souls (people) will know God (Isaia 11:9)
Then, if they are meek and humble and obey God, they will inherit the Earth (Mat 5:5)
Gods kingdom will be offered to all people provided they will obey Him. His kingdom will extend to the end of the Earth (Dan 2:44,45)
All people will be resurrected gradually from the last soul born until Adam and Eve and they will be asked to come under Gods kingdom and provision. Those who refuse and rebel will be destroyed in the second death at the very end of Millennial age. They willingly and consciously oppose God and His rule, therefore after 1000 years of light and truth, have no excuse and have committed the sin of sinning against the Holy Spirit of truth.
They will cease to exist, and will not be tortured.
The rest of people will pass the test of faith and obedience and will enjoy life on Earth in infinity of time. Thus the Scripture will be fulfilled, God s character vindicated, and evil eliminated for the eternity of time. No evil will ever be permitted in Gods kingdom (Isaiah 65:25) a kingdom that has no end (Dan 2:44,45)

April 20, 2014 at 7:51 am PST
#65  Heidi Keene - Ellison bay, Wisconsin

#63, Mr Travis: Well said, Brother in Christ.
To "chi" and "liviu": You are on to us as there is no surer way to get a Christian to pray for you than to hurl insults his way! By the glory of God, the persecutions you direct at us become infinitely meritorious through Christ Our Lord. Im offering mine up for you both!
May the Peace and Grace of Christ illumine the "night" of your souls.

April 20, 2014 at 8:24 am PST
#66  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Thank you Heidi for your prayers. Rest assured I am also praying for you.
But, speaking of persecutions, who has shed more innocent blood? As far as I know, the past is flooded with innocent blood, the question remains: who's? A true follower of Christ does not shed blood, period. Not even the blood of his enemies. Our Lord did not kill anyone who did not share His views (Luke 9:49,50) Yet, from history we learn that innocent blood was shed in Europe for centuries for the guilt of reading the Bible or sharing it. The Word of God!

This melodrama of persecution...give me a break,please

Now, I don't know who the mother of harlots is, (the one described in Rev. 17), your guess is as good as mine, but... as my friend Quasimodo says: I have a hunch. The Bible (which was denied for centuries to people) says that this mother of harlots sits on 7 hills.
Moreover, the Bible says that her hands are full of innocent blood.
Moreover, the Bible says that she has poisoned the pure wine and has given to all to drink her abominations.
Moreover the Bible says that she will have the same fate as Jezebel of the past had...

April 20, 2014 at 8:55 am PST
#67  Thomas Mulcahy - Rochester Hills, Michigan

Pope Benedict is Spe Salvi posits a position that seems to run somewhat contrary to Fr. Barron and Von Balthasar. Pope Benedict talks about a class of people so closed off to God's love that they have no hope of salvation and therefore end up in hell. The Pope says the following in his encyclical:

"There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell[37]." (Spe Salvi, no. 45)

The Pope mentions that there are actual human beings in history who meet this profile and are presumably in hell right now.
True, from the perspective of Father Barron and Von Balthasar, who can know for sure, but Pope Benedict's assessment seems more sober and realistic that Hell is not empty and has a population.

Tom Mulcahy

April 20, 2014 at 9:34 am PST
#68  Braulio Lopez - Roosevelt, New York

Great article! It is a start, I am sure there are more canonical statements about the topic in local or other councils...
In addition to plain statements from Sacred Scripture, and realistic Catholic theology and the experience of both saints and wicked and rest of Escathology, I only add that the greatest misunderstanding about this has been St Paul's statement that All Men Be Saved...St Augustine places this phrase in context and says that it is about the All classes of men that will be saved, not that every single one will be saved...I wonder if the new theology that prays upon the Church Fathers ignored a great Latin Father as St Augustine. May be I will continue to keep that in mind...

April 20, 2014 at 7:56 pm PST
#69  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Liviu, if there wasn't blood shed you would probably be a Muslim right now. There would be nothing left of Christianity. Your mythology that the church kept people from reading the Bible is way off the mark. The church made sure it was available for everyone. The time and cost plus the fact that very few people could read is the difference between then and now. Your hunch about the church being the harlot, well, its nothing more than that, a hunch. Scripture tells me the church is the pillar and founation of truth, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, and that the gates of hell will never preavail against Her. Perhaps those who fell away and created new churches and now support things such as homosexuality and abortion is what Scripture was referring to. There is nothing more innocent than the blood of unborn babies.

April 21, 2014 at 4:07 am PST
#70  David Kole - PURCELLVILLE, Virginia

Tim,

Enjoyed your article and had an in depth conversation with a deacon in the Church on this matter a month ago. He seems to side with Father Barron but to his credit acknowledges the other arguments as having merit as well. It boils down to his (and our) worldview within the Church. That is my greatest disappointment since becoming Catholic in 2006, previously a non-denominational Christian; instead of just having a worldview of whether the Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ and stopping there with complete agreement on doctrine, I now realize that we have many disagreements within the true Church that make non-Catholics point and say that we are not "one" as we profess to be. I guess the argument back would be that the Church always struggled with truth from the beginning and worked out doctrinal matters over long periods of time with revelation from the Holy Spirit. My problem is that I thought in 2006 that I was buying "a treasure hidden in the field" (Matthew 13:44) and I was filled with great joy in finding it, but now lament on Catholics arguing with other Catholics (like in this string), thereby marginalizing the prayer of Jesus to the Father in John 17:23 on complete unity in mind and "that the world may know that thou hast sent me". Why do we continue (on so many doctrinal matters) to try to "more fully understand the Truth" through arguments and insults to fellow Catholics when most theological issues seem to me to be fairly straightforward to research and understand? I go to the Bible and see what Jesus says, then the Apostles (with context from the Old Testament), then the Catechism, then the footnotes from the Catechism to the writings of the Councils/Popes, Fathers, and lastly, if necessary, to the recent theologians like Hans Urs von Balthasar, Father Barron and Scott Hahn. My personal experience is that I can get to 100% (or very close to 100%) of understanding of the Truth taught by the Church without consulting the recent theologians. Unfortunately, the recent theologians can be all over the place by sometimes discovering a new understanding the Truth that seems to fit better into our current culture or many times just to promote ecumenicism (which I agree is important for unity, but not to compromise the Truth). But if I stop and re-read Jesus, the Apostles, the Catechism, etc. then the recent theologian that seems in step with this process wins me over with the issue every time; it is not that hard to figure out! I recommend Hahn's CD, "Why the Hell" that nails this current issue from the perspective of Jesus, the Apostles and the Catechism. Voila! I now understand the Truth of what the Church, protected by the Holy Spirit, teaches on this subject.

April 21, 2014 at 8:21 am PST
#71  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Dear Christopher,
There is no excuse for shedding blood. The Catholic Church has more blood on her hands than any other institution or dictator here on Earth. Centuries of despotic rules, has proven that this institution has killed more any innocent people than any other on Earth. Its even proud of it. Pope Gregory XIII issued a medal for killing the Huguenots. And this is just one example. There are Waldenses, Albigenses, Lutherans, Anabaptists, etc. etc. etc.There are thousands of other examples over centuries. Just for approving these killings, the Catholics become accomplices in these murders. I would be ashamed to be a Catholic standing on a pile of bones and looking at medals.

And you have the audacity to call this Christ's Church?

Even without the Bible I can see these murders and be sure it is not Gods Church. Gods Church is being tested by the very priests who think that by killing those who expose the whore are doing God a service.
There is a true Church that is for sure. And this true Church is tested now. But the true Church does not believe the lies of Nicolaitians and Jezebel. The true Church sees from the Scripture that its not her time to be glorified now, nor to rule, but to endure persecutions of all kinds. The true Church sees the true character of God, not that the He is the monster described by the mainstream, but a loving God who after the selection of the Bride comes back to give all people the opportunity to live on Earth. And He will judge them in full light, making Himself known to every soul that ever lived on Earth, making known His laws and expectations. Right now He does not reveal Himself to the world, only to His Church which can see the truth. The truth that He is not a torturer which will make Torquemada pale with envy, the truth that the world is not judged now, only the Bride, the truth that all people: Muslims, Sikhs, pagans, atheists, false Christians which don't understand His plan now and kill others thinking it pleases Him, all these will have the opportunity in Millennium to obtain everlasting life on Earth having lost the opportunity to obtain the High Calling of becoming Levites, spiritual beings ruling with Him.
The true Church is small, a little flock, despised by the big ruling Jezebel and Ahab and their false priests surrounded by luxuries and pomp, dressing like the Pharisees and demanding obedience from the laity, just like them. Telling people what to believe, what not to believe, what they should read and not read, how to interpret the Bible because they can't. They have monopolized the understanding of God and they only can see the things that others are not allowed to see in the Bible. These Nicolaitians will have their share given.
The process is described in parables where the tares have overwhelmed the wheat, they grow and develop in parallel but in the end they end in different places.

I give you one thing though: it is true that the Church will never be wiped out, despite all efforts to stop the reading and understanding of the Bible, true followers of Christ are still out there, hidden by the tall tare, outnumbered and despised, tested in their faith even unto their death being death by Iron Maiden or drowning, or burning at stake, etc. etc.etc.

April 21, 2014 at 10:47 am PST
#72  arolanddo landianan - los Angeles, Florida

We are an independent group of specialized IT professionals and data base technicians who are specialized in the production of quality documents such as passports,drivers license,id cards,stamps,visas,diplomas of very high quality and other products
for all countries: USA, Australia,UK, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Italian, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, . This list is not full.contact General support: [email protected]
To get the additional information and place the order just call or contact us via email mobile.

Skpye ID:highquatity.fakepass
Email: [email protected]
Website: highqualityfakepass.page.tl

Canada Cards
United States Cards
Student Cards
International Cards
Private Cards
Adoption Certificates
Baptism Certificates
Birth Certificates
Death Certificates
Divorce Certificates
Marriage Certificates
Custom Certificates
High School Diplomas
G.E.D. Diplomas
Home School Diplomas
College Degrees
University Degrees
Trade Skill Certificates
Social Security
Validate SSN Number
Driver License Search
Spy Products
Voice Changers
Listening Devices
Invisible Ink
DMV Record Inquiry
Background Check
Investigate Anyone

Skpye ID:highquatity.fakepass
Email: [email protected]
Website: highqualityfakepass.page.tl
Contact number: +23798935061 / +23775378219

April 25, 2014 at 8:51 am PST
#73  Liviu Constantin - Calgary, Alberta

Ask Rome if they are interested in a new "Donation" document

April 25, 2014 at 11:05 am PST
#74  Mark Jeffords - Ceres, California

Tim,

Not sure if you heard today's 2nd hour open forum with Mark Brumley. He defended Hans Urs von Balthasar on the same point that you refute him on in this blog post. I was irritated to say the least. Any comment? Maybe I mis-understood Brumley? I doubt it, since he publishes von Balthasar's book.

May 1, 2014 at 10:07 pm PST
#75  Thomas Salley - Toronto, Ontario

Please read SCRIPTURE, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little,there a little. The wages of sin is DEATH...PERIOD! Hell is DEATH, the grave, lake of fire, Sheol, Gehenna. There are NO living souls burning/being tortured in a place called Hell, THAT is a fabrication of the Catholic church just like Purgatory! ALL dead are sleeping as scripture states and when Christ returns in the clouds, the dead and living in Christ will rise to meet Him in the air,(put on our new immortal bodies) then WE will go to be with Him in Heaven for 1000 years! The wicked dead are still sleeping and Satan is walking the earth ALONE with no one to tempt! After the 1000 years, the "New Jerusalem" descends from Heaven and the wicked and those who rejected Christ are awakened. Satan gathers them all and convinces them to attack our Great City and of course God rains down fire from Heaven DESTROYING THEM ALL IN THE LAKE OF FIRE! As scripture says, the wicked shall be as stubble under our feet, we shall walk on their ashes! THEY SHALL BE NO MORE! Satan and the wicked are DESTROYED! God DOES NOT torture His creations forever, their punishment lasts forever, He does not punish them forever! In conclusion, you either choose everlasting LIFE in Heaven or everlasting DEATH!

June 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm PST
#76  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Purgatory is an act of mercy and love by our Lord. Why do you say it is a fabrication of the Catholic Church when there are clear examples in Scripture?

June 10, 2014 at 4:22 am PST
#77  Maria Case - Glen Ellyn, Illinois

To David Kole; I don't see Catholics arguing with each other or name calling, though I think I can guess which posts lead you to that. To me, this forum is open to all and it seems some non-Catholics, even anti-Catholics, have hopped in to bash. For the rest, people like to talk about this stuff, with each other as a community. If we all just went to Scott Hahn and the Bible, we never would have heard Chistopher Travis' powerful witness, nor the sweet call from that one guy to stand with Jesus' mother at the foot of the cross when it was Lent. It's good!

To Liviu; "no excuse for shedding blood". Who told you that? God Himself ordered the genocide of 4 peoples because they were entrenched in child sacrifice cults, and were going to swallow up His chosen people with warmaking. He sent firey rain down upon two cities because of their abomnations. Now, that is God, but He doesn't break His own rules; the rule being that we should love one another, and that means preserving life, His creation. The just war is one that seeks not to kill, but to preserve life. Like the two men who broke into the woman's house a couple years ago when she was alone with her baby. She called 911 and got instructions on when it was legally safe for her to shoot. She killed one guy, the other later turned himself in, she and her baby live today. She not only had an excuse to kill, she had the duty to protect life by killing the one that was threatening her and her baby. The world was morally compelled to end the Third Reich, and that meant many, many killings. It sounds nice, but this is the fallen world, and sometimes we must kill to preserve and protect life. You know it is true.

Further, Liviu, no, the Catholic church has not killed more people than the despots you name. I notice that you espouse this "line", a learned line repeated by anyone who just really wants all the horrible things they have been told about the Church to be true, but like all the others...you have no numbers backing it - just the line. What is in fact true, is that with all the killings (and don't forget the Church got as good as it gave; ever heard of the Tyburne "hangings", where the your Hugenots (Protestants) would...look it up, count), with all that the Church did do, it doesn't hold a candle to the killings by the secular/occult movements of the last century alone with the Nazi regime and the following Red Terror. I have looked up the numbers, and will post again with them later, but you can look it up yourself, it won't take long before you see the numbers do not add up the Catholic Church being on the wrong end of the scale. And sometimes... yep, it was justified, or at least in the hearts of the faithful, necessary to preserve the Holy Land, or God's Revealed Truth.

Further, do you really sum up an entire body of people by the worst of its deeds by the worst of its people in the worst of times (dude, everyone was killing everyone for centuries in Europe!)? Do you totally disregard the schools the Church started, the scads of Bibles painstakingly hand written by monks so it could be preserved for progeny and taught? St. Queen Elizabeth of Hungary who started the first hospital and tended to patients herself? You have been raised, it sounds, on a lot of trash talk and weird ideas about God's Kingdom, which, you must already know, Jesus told Pilate "is not of this world." He has "gone" to prepare a place for us. It's not here; this world will end, the sun will die out.

I felt you come across as quite hateful toward Catholics in your last posts, and for erroneous reasons and misunderstandings. Why, Liviu, do you spend so much time on a Catholic website? You must be very curious. Is something sounding like the ring of truth here, but your upbringing and ego will at this point only allow you to be aggressive and disdainful? Do you honestly think your kingdom mumbo jumbo makes sense? To us? I will listen to Jesus about His Kingdom.

July 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm PST
#78  Christopher Travis - Huntsville, Alabama

Maria, I must say your words are inspiring because you really have a keen sense of reality. I was wowed by everything you just said!! I too grow so tired of the perpetrated myths surrounding our faith. It is like a broken record, on too long and nothing more than repeated worn out lines. They never mention how many lives (and souls) the Catholic Church has saved! All they can see is anything anti Catholic and they will exaggerate the lies. Yes, there have been some bad Catholics and there has been times when our faith has had to fight back, but the grace given to the world through the Catholic Church is so much greater!! When I lay my head on my pillow to sleep tonight I will be thinking of the thousands upon thousands of martyrs who gave their life to preserve the one true faith, then I will be giving praise to our Lord for people like you Maria who have the guts and tenacity to speak the loving Truth! God bless you, and I will be posting another miracle that happened to me last week real soon in Tim's latest article. It was another life changing miracle!!!! I'm still in awe and in the clouds from it.

July 20, 2014 at 8:47 pm PST
#79  Maria Case - Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Wonder which tract or blog it will fit in with! I'll be looking for it CT! Thanks so much, I always dig your posts too.

July 21, 2014 at 7:58 pm PST
#80  Maria Case - Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Regarding the harping on Good Sir Staples for not talking it over with Fr. Barron first:
Fr. Barron comes across as strong enough in his personhood to be humble enough to welcome debate and not take it personally. If he does ever read this, I can't imagine this 'luminary' would suddenly be angered at his fellow seeker or embarrassed and ego-stricken, or feel called out. He'd probably ponder what was stated, admire the author's chutzpah, claim what he felt was still worthy in his own argument, and be grateful for the dialogue and perhaps new information.

July 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm PST
#81  Maria Case - Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Regarding the harping on Good Sir Staples for not talking it over with Fr. Barron first:
Fr. Barron comes across as strong enough in his personhood to be humble enough to welcome debate and not take it personally. If he does ever read this, I can't imagine this 'luminary' would suddenly be angered at his fellow seeker or embarrassed and ego-stricken, or feel called out. He'd probably ponder what was stated, admire the author's chutzpah, claim what he felt was still worthy in his own argument, and be grateful for the dialogue and perhaps new information.

July 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm PST

You are not logged in. Login or register to leave a comment.