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Full Version: Does the Church Say Anyone Is In Hell?
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QuisUtDeus Wrote:I think the subject is misphrased.  It really isn't asking "Are there souls in hell?"  Well, of course there are souls in hell.

Really?

Quote:Eternal damnation remains a possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it. (John Paul II - General Audience of July 28, 1999)
QuisUtDeus Wrote:We have Scripture.  Apocalypse, etc., tells us there will be souls in hell, doesn't it?

As well as the Books of Ecclesiasticus, Daniel, Judith, all the Gospels, and so forth.
Again, we cant say for sure those spirits arent just the fallen angels, or hypotheticals demonstrating simply the possibility of hell. If they arent specified as specific human individuals, we cant say for sure.

Again, possible hope for any given human adds up to possible hope for every human. A bunch of non-heresies cant add up to a heresy, can they?

Dogma discusses general rules. Dogmatic Facts discuss specific cases. But it is not Revealed, nor within the scope of Revelation, that "some, but indeterminate, humans are in hell"...as that is neither a general rule, nor a particular case, but rather would be just a vague statement in a weird gray zone, which Revelation doesnt make. If it was going to be Revealed, it would be determinate. But nothing specific is. Only the general rule of Hell for mortal sinners.
So Cats, are you saying that I, as a Catholic, can believe no human souls are in Hell and that even if they are God does come down there and occasionally frees damned souls? And I can do this in good standing and nobody could accuse me of error or heresy?
Am I allowed to believe that no demon souls are in Hell?
If the answers to these questions are "yes",  I may be inclined to join the new springtime. If even the "eternalness" of Hell and whether any souls are even there are up for honest Catholic debate, why the heck bother being a Trad? What else is up for debate? This whole thing is disconcerting. I'm not allowed to believe that certain practices allowed by Rome in the NO are incentives to impiety (Trent), but I can believe that Hell is empty? REALLY? I'm anathema if I believe girl altar boys is a sinful practice, but I'm just as Catholic as the Pope if I believe in universal salvation? I'm truly floored. This may be an epiphany moment here...
Quote:Am I allowed to believe that no demon souls are in Hell?

No. That at least Satan is in hell is definitely Revealed. And at least several other angels too, judging by the "Legion" story.

Quote:If even the "eternalness" of Hell and whether any souls are even there are up for honest Catholic debate, why the heck bother being a Trad?

Well, if you were only being a Trad because of some sort of petty fear or Jansenist guilt...the kind Catholics were always stereotypically accused of in the 50's (and in Ireland), etc...you DO have some serious soul searching and spiritual maturing to do.

I'm a Trad because of the Truth and Beauty of it. Not because of some sort of fire-and-brimstone bitter exclusivism.

Quote:What else is up for debate?

General principles and revealed truths are not. Specific individual cases and applications of these dogmas (unless they have been defined as a dogmatic fact) are, by their nature, uncertain to us.

Quote:This whole thing is disconcerting. I'm not allowed to believe that certain practices allowed by Rome in the NO are incentives to impiety (Trent), but I can believe that Hell is empty? REALLY? I'm anathema if I believe girl altar boys is a sinful practice, but I'm just as Catholic as the Pope if I believe in universal salvation? I'm truly floored. This may be an epiphany moment here...

You are allowed to believe that altar girls are imprudent and that the practice is a reduction in spiritual benefit from the old practice. I certainly do. Most people here probably do, it is a trad forum after all. So I dont know what you're talking about.

And again, hope is different from knowledge. In fact, it specifically excludes it. If you start presuming hell is empty, that will be to your ruin.

It's a delicate balance. A "lion in the pulpit, lamb in the confessional" sort of thing. You should hope that no one goes to hell, while living like almost everyone does. Dont despair, as we dont know any are damned, but dont presume, as you dont know you wont be. You dont have to have this hope, strictly speaking; again, we simply dont know. But you cannot deny it as a possibility. And a sliver of hope (and hope by it's nature is a burning ember that wont go out in the storm) does not change the fact that there is a storm, and the thing hoped for IS still very improbable and unlikely.
I think you're pushing it, 7HolyCats

Quote:11 And I saw a great white throne, and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hell gave up their dead that were in them; and they were judged every one according to their works. 14 And hell and death were cast into the pool of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the pool of fire.

Angels and demons don't die, humans do.  It is we who are written about in the books, and if we are not in the book of life, we're cast into the pool of fire.

Seems pretty clear to me there will be human souls damned.
Again, if you can hope for any specific soul, you can hope for every. Non-heresies dont add up into heresies.

Revelations is discussing hell as a possibility. To do so it has to show hypothetical souls going there. Just like to make a point Jesus showed Lazarus and Dives, even though I think they were probably just characters invented to prove a point.

But does that mean with the certainty of Faith that any actually will? Not necessarily. I think it is extremely likely, but the imagery is strictly speaking intended to Reveal truths about Hell as a general concept, not any specifics.

To discuss the nature of hell, for example, theologians have to assume souls there. "The souls in hell will experience this" "the souls in hell will experience that"...but really, the point of such assertions is really the hypothetical experiences. Not the actual existence of any such souls. But to show the experiences, you have to posit a hypothetical subject.
Bishop Fellay discusses lack of teaching on Hell:

Starts at 1:00

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