I received this post from an atheist:
Perhaps the worst part of the hell-vision was theologians’ insistence that
the joy of the blessed ones in heaven couldn’t be complete unless they
were permitted to gloat over the sufferings of the damned. St. Gregory
the Great assumed with appalling naturalness that the “good” people in
heaven would be entirely without pity. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote: “In
order that nothing may be wanting to the felicity of the blessed spirits
in heaven, a perfect view is granted to them of the tortures of the
damned.” Other fathers of the church proclaimed that, while the greatest
pleasure of the saved would be contemplating the Divine Essence, their
second greatest pleasure would be watching the damned writhing in hell.
They couldn’t feel sorry for loved ones or friends in torment, because
their opinions would always be identical with God’s; and God apparently
reveled in sinners’ pain.
Thomas of Cantimpre mentioned some “simple folk” who worried about having
to watch former friends or relatives suffering in hell. He said these
worries were foolish, because no one in heaven could grieve for anything.
He cited the Blessed Marie d’Oignies, who saw in a vision that her dead
mother was damned, and so stopped mourning for her at once.
St. Bernardino of Siena argued that heaven must be perfect, and
perfection couldn’t be achieved without “due admixture of groans from the
Damned.” Only a few people were good enough to be saved; the vast
majority would go to hell. This was the orthodox opinion. Raymond Lull
was condemned as a heretic for trying to teach that Christ’s mercy would
save nearly all men. Christ was not that merciful…
Can anyone explain to be the correct Catholic theological position on the issue of whether or not we feel sorrow for the damned on reaching heaven?