Do you believe there is a real hell? Poll


And peace to you Mark. May the CCC continue to make you feel comfortable in your beliefs.


Actually, what Father Barron said is that we may hope that hell is empty.

He did not say that we dare hope that hell will one day be emptied.


I’m not clear on the point you’re making. Following von Balthasar, Bishop Barron does not advocate apokatastasis. Both theologians are fine with the belief that the salvation of the fallen angels is not possible (following Aquinas’ belief that since angels exist in sempiternity, they cannot change their minds). So, for Barron and von Balthasar, hell does and will always have occupants. But, the Church continues to hope that there will be no human occupants, in the end. That is the position they argue for.


I am not clear if you are responding to me…I will look up Father Barron’s youtube site and be back to share it.


Oh, sorry. Yes, I was responding to you Dorothy.


When I typed my response your name was in the upper left hand corner. When I sent the message your name was not in the place to whom I responded to. :slight_smile:
Anyway, here is the site I was talking about. Perhaps I didn’t word my response as well as I could have.


Ha, ok! Yes, when I found out about Fr Robert Barron about 3 years ago, I was so impressed with him that I gobbled up all his YouTube videos. That was when I first found out that he advocated the position of von Balthasar, which I was already sympathetic to, so I was very impressed to learn this about him! Imo, he does great work for the Church.


Faher Barron does believe in hell.


Correct. And so does von Balthasar and so do I. I’ve been trying to help others here see that there is a viable alternative to the infernalist belief.



I have read all the posts here and still do not clearly understand what you are saying.

I believe what the Church teaches on hell.


Ok well, I’ve reiterated myself a few times above. Basically, I think that a belief in an everlasting punishment for a finite offense goes against our common understanding of justice. In effect, it would be a “cruel and unusual” punishment, which all rational ppl in civil societies reject. Also, if God’s mercy endures forever (which it does) and God is Love (which he is), why wouldn’t all people be saved, in the end?

I also accept that there is a Hell-a place of torment due to separation from the Good (and maybe it’s also a place of punishment). But I see no reasons whatsoever for believing that Hell is everlasting for humans. Just the opposite, in fact, I believe that there are several very good reasons for believing that Hell will eventually be emptied of human souls. So, that’s it in a nutshell. We most definitely, as a Church, should “dare to hope” and pray that all would be saved.


Daring to hope that hell is empty is not the same as saying that hell will eventually be emptied.

I believe what legitimate Church authority teaches as it is based on what Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches.


Hoping for something that cannot happen is not rational—it’s Freudian wishful thinking. If you cannot believe that God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice can extend to the very limits of godforsakeness (i.e., Hell), then there’s no reason for hope. You’d just be engaging in idle wishful thinking. If, however, you do believe that God’s love and mercy can reach that far, then there is reason for hope!

If you believe that the CCC is “legitimate church teaching,” then ok! That’s safe territory. It’s easy, comforting and I have no qualms with it. But, let’s not kid ourselves that the CCC is the infallible list of the infallible dogmas that we all must believe… It’s been revised and edited. I’m pretty sure that means it cannot be infallible dogma.

But peace be with you Dorothy. I only want you to consider the extent of God‘s love and Christ’s sacrifice. I am suggesting that they extend all the way to the end of godforsakeness. I hope you will consider that as a more rational option than the belief in a god who would infinitely punish the creatures he created for their finite crimes. Forever is quite a long time to be punished and to suffer and to experience torment.


I believe that God’s love is infinite.

I also believe that He will not force His Will on us if He is rejected.
God honors our choices.


Meh, God honors our choices in the way analogous to how a good parent would honor her child’s choices. The good parent does WHATEVER it takes—she cajoles, she reasons, she compels, she prods, she reaches out in every way possible to save her lost child. She doesn’t ever give up. Her love goes to the very limits to save the lost sheep. God is no different. In fact, he is better. He goes to the outer limits of godforsakeness so that he will save the last of his sheep. To love, is to will the good of the other, as other. If you, being evil, know how to love your children, how much more so does God know how to love his children? His mercy endures forever.


Thank you, kill051. That’s exactly the point I was trying to make! God created us to share His love with us. All He asks in return, is for us to love Him. He wants every human being to be with Him forever in Heaven. But, He will never force us to love Him. He wants us to fall in love with Him.

Jesus told us what we have to do to get to Heaven.

"Matthew 11: [28] Come to me, all you that labour, and are burdened, and I will refresh you. [29] Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: and you shall find rest to your souls. [30] For my yoke is sweet and my burden light."

If we truly love Him, His ‘yoke’ is light.

"John 14: [15] If you love me, keep my commandments."

The way to Heaven is so simple that it’s practically impossible for anyone to misunderstand it.

"Matthew 22: [36] Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law? [37] Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. [38] This is the greatest and the first commandment. [39] And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets."

The only people that should be so up in arms over trying to find “loopholes” to get out of going to Hell, are the ones who refuse to follow Jesus or to love God. Those are the only ones who could ever end up in Hell, forever. The only sure place to find out exactly what Jesus has commanded us to do, is from His Holy Catholic Church. You can never go wrong if you open your heart and listen to Her.


Just thinking out loud here…but I wonder if Hell is just what those without God choose for themselves. Jesus describes it as a place of “wailing and gnashing of teeth.” I don’t know for sure about his time, but in ours “gnashing of teeth” is usually a sign of intense regret. I wonder if people choose Hell over God because they think they are getting something better, and then as it plays out they see how infinitely worse it is and are filled with regret. shrug


We’re not here to discuss “secular philosophy”, so that point of view is completely irrelevant to this discussion. We’re here to discuss the theological teachings of the Catholic Church and what She teaches us to believe about Hell. Traditional orthodox Catholic theologians have always taught that Hell is real, and it’s eternal. Period.

I absolutely believe that the CCC teaches what Catholics are supposed to believe. It is not infallible, but it serves to explain the Doctrines and Dogmas, which are absolutely infallible, and other teachings of our Faith, to make them easier for us to understand. It’s like an “owners manual” of the Catholic Faith, that tells us what we should and shouldn’t do as Catholics. The Catholic Church is perfectly aligned with the mind of God, because it was instituted by Jesus Christ and given to the Apostles and their followers to teach the world what Jesus taught them.

"John 14: [22] Judas saith to him, not the Iscariot: Lord, how is it, that thou wilt manifest thyself to us, and not to the world? [23] Jesus answered, and said to him: If any one love me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and will make our abode with him. [24] He that loveth me not, keepeth not my words. And the word which you have heard, is not mine; but the Father’s who sent me. [25] These things have I spoken to you, abiding with you. [26] But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you."

"Matthew 28: [19] Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. [20] Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."

If you refuse to believe and follow whatever the Catholic Church teaches, then you are refusing to listen to the commandments of Jesus. What does it say in the Creed we recite at Mass?


I agree with you Magnanimity.

The Church is praying for Universal Salvation (1058), the will of God is Universal Salvation, so Universal Salvation CAN NOT be heresy.

We all should believe what we are praying for, which is UNIVERSAL SALVATION.

Everyone who is familiar with the Book of Jonah knows, one of the best answer that hell is exist or does not exist for the human race we find it in the Book of Jonah.

The Ninevites where probably the most wicked sinners in the whole world, their wickedness went up to God.

God promised destruction and hell for all Ninevites, NOT FOR THE REASON OF THEIR CONDEMNATION, but for the reason the Ninevites pay attention.
Because we are not yet perfect, we need as much warnings of hell as much we can get, not because God would throw any of His children to hell, but for the reason His children to pay attention.

Jonah 3:4; Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, "Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.

For the reason to pay attention God promised distraction and hell to all Ninevites.

Despite of all threats and promises of distractions and hell,
God provided His Universal Salvation and saved all Ninevites:

Jonah 4:11; And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and also many animals?
God promised destruction and hell to all Ninevites, and God provided Universal Salvation to the Ninevites.
The same principle applies to the warnings and promises of hell in the New Testament.

God does not change, the way God threatened and promised hell to all Ninevites and at the end saved them all, in the same way, God practically apart from a few people promise condemnation and hell to the entire human race, but with the same principle God will saves us all, if not, then on the cross Christ died for NOTHING.


I agree with you Telstar, God wants us to fall in love with Him.
First we have to know, apart from God and His Aids/ Graces, we can do NOTHING.

John 15:5; apart from Me you can do nothing.

Our ability to love or our ability to do anything good is the product of God’s gifts of efficacious graces.

St. Thomas properly explains the chain of causality, includes our ability to fall in love with God:

It is to be observed that where there are several agents in order, the second always acts in virtue of the first: for the agent moves the second to act.

And thus all agents act in virtue of God Himself: and therefore He is the cause of action in every agent. ST, Pt I, Q 105, Art 5.
Because God is the cause of action in every agent, even man’s free will determination to do good comes from God. ST, Pt I, Q 23, Art 5.

Even our ability to fall in love with God is the product of God’s gift of efficacious graces.

With efficacious grace, man is able to resist the grace but does not, because the grace Aids/ Causes him to FREELY choose the good.
CCC 2022; “The divine initiative in the work of grace PRECEDES, PREPARES, and ELICITS the free response of man. …”

Thomas Aquinas, S. Th.II/II 4, 4 ad 3: God effects everything, the willing and the achievement.

Phil.2:13; For it is God who works in you both to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

The Council of Sens (1140) condemned the idea that free will is sufficient in itself for any good. Donez., 373.

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