A question I’ve mulled over many times and that seems relevant now in light of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent comments. Any thoughts?
to what “recent comments” are you referring?
Well, there are more than a couple of people who’ve had near death experiences and rather than going to heaven have ended up in hell :eek:
Not to mention several saints who’ve had visions of it - St Faustina and the child seers of Fatima for starters.
You mean there are people who have woken up in hell and then returned to earth?
To the original poster, I don’t think there is generally any evidence that a particular soul is in hell, and I would be extremely hesitant to believe any purported signs, or even to want to learn about it…
Not that anyone who has an NDE just ‘wakes up’ in either place, but they do leave their bodies and travel, most to heaven but some indeed to hell, and then return :yup:
But entrance into heaven or hell (or purgatory) requires judgement. Would God judge a soul that He knows is going back in an hour or so?
perhaps to warn or encourage them as to the path they are on and its not that god is judgeing them exactly but showing them where the state of their soul lies at that instant
I am not a Catholic anymore, but I have heard that the Vatican was looking into promulgating an encyclical that would basically say that it is orthodox to believe that Hell will possibly be empty.
I do not know if this is true, but I do know that this idea is growing more popular among many Catholics.
Maybe this is related to your inquiry. I don’t know.
I personally believe that it would not be orthodox at all to believe that, but that is just me.
Exactly - and if that isn’t the Father’s intention it certainly has the effect of being a wakeup call for those who don’t go to heaven!
And I don’t see why, if he can show St Faustina or Blessed Jacinta and the others a vision of Hell, or visions of heaven to St John and other saints (as St Paul writes about), he can’t also show these things to others?
Good points all around!
I am looking more at the claims of those theologians who contend that it is possible that no person has or ever will end up in hell. Obviously if we have evidence that some person is in hell, then it places these theologians’ conclusion in doubt. LilyM has provided this:
Do you have a more complete explanation of what St. Faustina and those at Fatima claim they saw? And even more importantly, is there a binding Catholic interpretation of these visions?
I’m also looking for scriptural evidence.
With St Faustina, I know she wrote about it in her diaries, which I’m afraid I haven’t read, myself, and if you look up the Fatima apparitions on the web they tell you the basics of the children being shown Hell, and Our Lady saying ‘you have seen hell, where the souls of the poor sinners go’. It was at that point, I believe, that she requested the addition of the Fatima Prayer (‘O my Jesus …’) to the Rosary.
Both of these fall under the banner of ‘private revelation’, so it is not formally obliged for Catholics to believe that they really happened. However, they have both been investigated and proclaimed worthy of belief (in other words they don’t offend Catholic faith and morals).
They don’t constitute concrete evidence in the same way that canonisation miracles affirm the presence of the saints in heaven.
As for biblical evidence, can’t go past Matt 25:41 in which Christ discusses the Last Judgement: "Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ "
Sounds very definite - Christ will return, *will *separate the righteous from the damned and the damned will be sent to the same eternal torment (hell) that the Devil and his angels currently occupy.
While the church will not declare individual souls or people (ie Hitler, Stalin or whoever) to definitively be in hell, that’s entirely different from saying that we can’t be sure ANYONE is there.
no there is no evidence or no assurance that any human soul who ever lived is in hell. The Church claims no authority to make such a declaration, even though she does have authority to proclaim who is in heaven for sure.
How about Jesus’s story of a man named Lazuas, how he wish some one tell his brothers of this place, Jesus replied if they don’t listening to the phrophets then, why would they listen now.
That was a parable, not a real situation. It basically serves as a warning about hell.