14 – The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity

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’ [1]; ‘Does an eternal hell exist? Francis is open to reviewing this idea’ [2];  or ‘Francis reviews the dogma of the eternal chastisement in hell’ [3]. 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?



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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study


Sacred Scripture

Eternal condemnation in the words of Christ

Synod of Constantinople (543)

The punishment of the demons and of impious men is eternal

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Unquenchable fire is reserved for those who refuse to believe and be converted
The souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer eternally

Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Of what does hell consist?

Catechism of Trent

The damned are tormented with unclean spirits in eternal and inextinguishable fire

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

At the end of the world, those who have done evil will come forth unto resurrection of judgment

John Paul II

Hell and eternal damnation: the state of those who definitively reject the Father’s mercy

Pius XI

Jesus declared to the Jews that the Father bestowed judicial power on Him - to impose punishments which no one can escape

Pius XII

The greatest disgrace is grave sin, by which one becomes worthy of eternal chastisement
Before God and men, the Church has the sacred duty to preach about hell and to teach it without any mitigation

Synod of Valence III (855)

Wrath and indignation eternally: for those who do not obey the truth

International Theological Commission

The Church believes that the definitive state of damnation awaits those who die burdened with grave sin

Pelagius I

The wicked are given to eternal and inextinguishable fire, that they may burn without end

Saint Robert Bellarmine

After death there is no place for repentance, and out of hell there is no redemption

Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

Rash confidence in the mercy of God sends more souls to hell than his justice

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The condemnation of the reprobates is bitter, just and everlasting

Saint Francis de Sales

What makes hell intolerable is the fact that suffering can never have end: an eternal night which gives birth to eternal despair

Saint Catherine of Siena

If he does not amend his life, he will be eternally condemned with great reprimand and reproach

Saint Irenaeus of Lyon

Those who fly from the eternal light of God, are their own cause for inhabiting eternal darkness


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3 thoughts on “14 – The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for eternity

  1. 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.
    Ahem …
    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?

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