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The Council of Florence on Hell

Question:

What did the Council of Florence have to say about hell?

Answer:

The Council of Florence stated the following about hell:

The souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straight away to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains (Session 6 — July 6,1439).

Those who have done good shall go into eternal life, but those who have done evil shall go into eternal fire (Session 8 — Nov. 22, 1439).

[The holy Roman church] firmly believes, professes, and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Catholic Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed his blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church (Session 11 — Feb. 4, 1442).

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