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Full Version: Does the Church Say Anyone Is In Hell?
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Quote:There is a difference between hoping for His mercy and presuming upon His mercy.  The various priests who say "John is in heaven now" are presuming upon His mercy which is sinful.  Praying for the soul of someone, no matter how sinful, is hoping for His mercy.

Likewise, we should not presume upon a lack of mercy.  God is infinitely merciful, and He will surely given anyone the greatest possible chance for salvation.  Sometimes that chance is the eye of a needle and we are the camel, but that chance is still there.  If He would give His only Son to die for us, He would do anything within the bounds of justice to save us, and, if we look at Christ for an example, He would go beyond the bounds of justice because surely it is not just that Christ died on the cross for our miserable and worthless souls.

Thank you, Quis. You've said it very well. This is what I've been trying to say in that BOD thread.

Quote:It's not clear to me why, as Catholics, we would even want to entertain the question of who goes to hell.  We should rejoice in God's justice that the good will be rewarded and the bad punished, for sure, and trust in Him and accept His decisions as to who goes where unquestioningly.  However, we should not delight in the loss of even one soul.  I'm sure God doesn't.  That is a child of His that is being cast out.  No parent likes to lose a child, no matter how bad the child is.

Exactly. I think this obsession with insisting that certain souls, or any human souls, are in hell...represents a small, twisted spirituality or scope of concerns.

Quote:Anyone can be saved, no matter how bad we are.  God will give us every possible chance to be saved, of that I am sure.  And when it comes to individuals, no matter how bad they are, we don't know what chances Christ offers them, especially at the very moment of death.

What seems impossible to us, an apparently unrepentant sinner being saved, is possible with God by His own means in accordance with His Justice and Mercy.  With God all things are possible.

Amen.

Quote:If I were to guess why the Church is allowed, by God, to canonize saints but not "canonize" the damned it would be this:  the Saints are a mechanism that goes to our salvation.  They can intercede for us, and they set examples for us.

Telling us who is damned really doesn't help us.  We don't need "negative examples" to be saved, and the damned cannot intercede for us.  Certainly, it is possible to have a private revelation in the form of a spectre or something to warn us off our path to damnation, but that is different than an example.

Christ came to us to save us, but also to be an example.  God did not send the devil to us to be a "counter-example".  The extension of the metaphor to the canonization of saints and the lack of commentary on the damned seems to extend nicely.  But, this is obviously speculation on my part.

Exactly! Very good explanation, Quis. Knowing that Core was damned, or that Wycliffe was, or that Dathan was, or even Judas specifically...doesnt contribute to our salvation. That's just vain curiosity and, it seems, a sort of spiritual schadenfreude. The mere possibility of hell in general is all we need to know, is enough to scare us straight. We dont need specific "counter-examples". Well put.
7HolyCats Wrote:
Quote:What about the words of Our Lady at Fatima, Caths?

They seem pretty explicit to me.

To me too. I certainly believe them, personally.

But that is a private revelation and binding on no one.

Though I personally believe it, yet not with the certainty of faith. I know it could be fake, though I think it's real. Yet the fact that it isnt Public Revelation, nor to be believed with the certainty of faith, or even just could be a hypothetical or didactic warning (like Dives), leaves that sliver of hope.

I'd say that the apparition of Our Lady at Fatima was a little more than a private revelation given the public miracle of the Sun that confirmed it. God was clearly trying to send us a clear warning there.

It's true that it doesn't pertain to Revelation, but I think we should take Our Lady's words very litterally. She described people going into Hell and I believe that, there's no reason why it wouldn't be true.
Regarding Judas Iscariot, he may be in Purgatory for a long, long time, perhaps until the Second Coming, or he may be in Hell.  I think the verses cited can be interpreted either way.  It would be better never to have been born than to spend thousands of years in Purgatory.  But we can't say definitively that Judas won't be forgiven -- or hasn't already been forgiven.  We just don't know.




Yes, yes, I know. But you are conflating different modes of knowledge and different degrees of certainty. No one is required to believe in Fatima, though I do. But the mere fact that no one is required to believe it at all (let alone any particular interpretation), leaves room for that hope.
7HolyCats Wrote:
Quote:As Sodom and Gomorrha, and the neighbouring cities, in like manner, having given themselves to fornication, and going after other flesh, were made an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

Again, Sodom and Gomorrha, like those who revolted against Moses and Aaron...were literally destroyed by fire physically. In this world. In the next, well, "eternal" may be hyperbole. After all, St Jude condemns the "cities" to eternal fire, and I know not what that means necessarily in terms of individual damnation. A city is not a personal being with guilt. However, when cities are spoken of in the Bible, it is often symbolic (city on a hill, etc). Just Sodom for example, remember it says in Revelations: "And their bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which is called spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord also was crucified." So we'd have to look more into the typological significance of this. Certainly Sodom represents the "City of Sin" or "City of Man" that is opposed to the City of God (in the symbolism Augustine later extrapolated), and that "city" will be cast into hell for eternity. But whether that "city" will contain any individual humans or be merely the abstract concept of sin itself (embodied in the fallen angels)? Well, I think it's likely it will contain many people, but it is not dogmatic.

One case that I think is more likely and which I would be more inclined to accept arguments that it is revealed and which I am surprised no one has brought up...is Antichrist himself.

Of course, he isnt born yet, and we will only be able to identify him with the certainty of faith after the fact (though I'm sure it will be otherwise quite obvious once it starts). But I'd find it hard to imagine how he, given all he stands for, would come to heaven. Unless, that is the ultimate triumph of God over Satan. That even Antichrist, like Synagoga in the End Times, will be reconciled at last.
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It seems hard to believe, for me at least, that the phrase "eternal fire" does not mean just that:  "eternal."  I don't think there is any basis in Catholic teaching that would justify treating the phrase "eternal fire" metaphorically.  Other parts of Sacred Scripture would surely preclude that.

The Bible also states that the false prophet, whoever that will be, shall be cast into the lake of fire, where the false prophet will be tormented forever and ever.  That sounds a lot like "eternal fire" to me.

See Apocalypse 20:9-10: 

Quote:9 And there came down fire from God out of heaven, and devoured them; and the devil, who seduced them, was cast into the pool of fire and brimstone, where both the beast 10 And the false prophet shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


Ironically, Sacred Scripture is silent as to the fate of "antichrist" and indeed states that "antichrist" has been present in the world since the time of Saint John.
Quote:Ironically, Sacred Scripture is silent as to the fate of "antichrist" and indeed states that "antichrist" has been present in the world since the time of Saint John.

Because "antichrist" is also a principle in history, the principle of sin, not just the specific man who will ultimately give it a final embodiment. Likewise "Sodom" is used typologically as an abstract principle (the City of Sin) that does not necessarily refer to any specific human individuals.

Quote:It seems hard to believe, for me at least, that the phrase "eternal fire" does not mean just that:  "eternal."  I don't think there is any basis in Catholic teaching that would justify treating the phrase "eternal fire" metaphorically.  Other parts of Sacred Scripture would surely preclude that.

But again, Sodom could mean Sin in general, not necessarily any sinners in particular.

Quote:The Bible also states that the false prophet, whoever that will be, shall be cast into the lake of fire, where the false prophet will be tormented forever and ever.  That sounds a lot like "eternal fire" to me.

Again, the false prophet could symbolize false teaching in general, not any specific teachers.
Bonifacio Wrote:Condemned heretics that were executed at the stake seem a likely option given their final impenitence.

And as for Judas, besides betraying the son of God, he killed himself which is another mortal sin.

Furthermore we have the words of Our Blessed Mother at Fatima that clearly referred to poor souls going to Hell.

I think the subject is misphrased.  It really isn't asking "Are there souls in hell?"  Well, of course there are souls in hell.

What it is asking is "Has the Church ever said person X is in hell?"  And the answer to that is, outside of Scripture, no.
Quote:It really isn't asking "Are there souls in hell?"  Well, of course there are souls in hell.

Well, Satan and his angels for sure. But in terms of human souls...though I think it is obviously very likely and heavily implied by certain things...I dont think we can say with the certainty of faith that there are any humans in hell, not just any particular. Possible hope for any individual human adds up to possible hope for every individual human. Consider, if we could get a big list of every human who has ever existed, and go through it and ask someone "Do you believe this person is in hell?" for each person...we couldnt condemn them as a heretic for saying "no" to any particular person. And yet...what's to stop them from thus saying "no" to every particular person? A bunch of non-heresies cant add up to a heresy.
7HolyCats Wrote:
Quote:It really isn't asking "Are there souls in hell?"  Well, of course there are souls in hell.

Well, Satan and his angels for sure. But in terms of human souls...though I think it is obviously very likely and heavily implied by certain things...I dont think we can say with the certainty of faith that there are any humans in hell, not just any particular. Possible hope for any individual human adds up to possible hope for every individual human. Consider, if we could get a big list of every human who has ever existed, and go through it and ask someone "Do you believe this person is in hell?" for each person...we couldnt condemn them as a heretic for saying "no" to any particular person. And yet...what's to stop them from thus saying "no" to every particular person? A bunch of non-heresies cant add up to a heresy.

We have Scripture.  Apocalypse, etc., tells us there will be souls in hell, doesn't it?
7HolyCats Wrote:
Quote:Ironically, Sacred Scripture is silent as to the fate of "antichrist" and indeed states that "antichrist" has been present in the world since the time of Saint John.

Because "antichrist" is also a principle in history, the principle of sin, not just the specific man who will ultimately give it a final embodiment. Likewise "Sodom" is used typologically as an abstract principle (the City of Sin) that does not necessarily refer to any specific human individuals.

Quote:It seems hard to believe, for me at least, that the phrase "eternal fire" does not mean just that:  "eternal."  I don't think there is any basis in Catholic teaching that would justify treating the phrase "eternal fire" metaphorically.  Other parts of Sacred Scripture would surely preclude that.

But again, Sodom could mean Sin in general, not necessarily any sinners in particular.

Quote:The Bible also states that the false prophet, whoever that will be, shall be cast into the lake of fire, where the false prophet will be tormented forever and ever.  That sounds a lot like "eternal fire" to me.

Again, the false prophet could symbolize false teaching in general, not any specific teachers.

Using your logic, however, you should not believe that "antichrist" is going to be a specific man, as Sacred Scripture specifically makes no such claim. 

Thus, if the false prophet ("he") can be merely false teaching in general, so, too, it is possible that "antichrist" does not refer to "the specific man who will ultimately give it a final embodiment."  The Bible does not say there will be such a person, nor does any dogmatic statement from the Church.
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