There are some uncomfortable truths that we would like to forget… to make things easier. Though there is certainly no benefit derived from this mentality, some people persist in it, thinking that by the fact of insistently denying the truth, it will just cease to exist.
A few months ago, certain newspapers, of dubious religiosity, published articles with headlines such as: ‘Francis reviews the theology of Hell’ ; ‘Does an eternal hell exist? Francis is open to reviewing this idea’ ; or ‘Francis reviews the dogma of the eternal chastisement in hell’ . To defend such an outlandish theory, the articles – devoid of true intellectual integrity – were based on an affirmation of Francis made during the Mass with the new cardinals at the Consistory in February, 2015.
Since such truths are what real pastors should make the most efforts to preach about – if, in fact, we wish to work for the salvation of souls – it is opportune to ask ourselves certain questions: By any chance may the Pope change a revealed truth? Perhaps the Church cannot eternally condemn, but what about God? Should preaching about hell cease? After death can’t one still repent? Does God, who is good, really chastise eternally?
The people of God – Francis said – come across persons “who exploit and make the most of them; “who deprive their souls of oxygen, robbing them of hope”; “who punish penitent sinners for the very sins they conceal within themselves”. “This – the Pope said – is called lack of mercy”. “I would just like to say one of the most beautiful passages contained in the Gospel. It never fails to move me: ‘Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir.’ ‘Neither do I condemn you’: one of the most beautiful passages because it is full of mercy.” (Homily, Santa Marta, March 23, 2015)
Teachings of the Magisterium
Enter in the various parts of our study
Synod of Constantinople (543)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of Trent
Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)
John Paul II
Synod of Valence III (855)
International Theological Commission
Saint Robert Bellarmine
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori
Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint Francis de Sales
Saint Catherine of Siena
Saint Irenaeus of Lyon
3 thoughts on “14 – The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity
Technically, the pope is correct on this one.
The Church (as a teaching body) does not condemn (judge – only God judges) anyone (any particular person) to hell.
The Church teaches a ‘positive theology’ – it teaches us how to get to heaven. It does it’s best to not focus on the negative – because negative attitudes and behaviour can also be non-divinely motivated.
And, you guys are totally on spot with all your quotes.
The Church also teaches us how to avoid hell…..negative is necessary and good! God is Merciful but He is also a Just Judge!
“The Church teaches a ‘positive theology’ It does it’s best to not focus on the negative” – are you really sure?
Did you realize that Jesus refers to Hell more often than heaven in the Bible?
Have you read how Jesus addressed the pharisees?
Have you read any of the homilies of the great preacher saints?
What gives you the right to think that one part of divine Revelation is more important than the other parts?
Did you stop to think about the fact that what you would refer to as ‘positive attitudes and behaviour’ can also be non-divinely motivated?
Sin strongly, but believe even more strongly – Luther would be your perfect example of a good preacher, no?