I… don’t mean to be unhelpful or disagreeable here. I consider myself a faithful Catholic. I proclaim faithfully that God is the perfect good, the measure of all goodness. So…
I think people too easily try to remove all responsibility for the punishments of Hell from God. It leads to inconsistencies, in my opinion. God is the one who establishes every order of things. Whether it is God’s absence or whether it’s God’s amazing love being painful to those who hate him, God has complete Providence over the world and all creation. If people suffer from the lack of his grace or from being in his presence, that is entirely intended as the (super)natural order of things by God. It is his will for it to be this way. God intends that those with evil in their hearts experience punishment for all eternity.
We too easily balk at the notion that the punishment of evil is a good thing, that it is justice, that it is consistent with God’s nature, his Divine Goodness and beatitude. Nowadays we only seem to think that punishment is evil in itself and so incompatible with God. But that can’t be true, at least not without creating numerous inconsistencies with other points of dogma. The punishment of evil, carried out in a perfect manner and with perfect justice by God, with no humanly failings or errors, is a good thing.
I am not trying to be scary or offputting. But, imo, people do quickly see the inconsistencies of trying to remove God of responsibility and attack or leave the faith over it. However we address it, we need to acknowledge God’s intentionality in the matter, and affirm his goodness, even if it means challenging some recent, popular, modern conceptions of justice and punishment.
Human free will and free rejection of God is necessarily involved, too. I’m not undermining that. But this order of supernatural reward and punishment is established by God. I simply object to answers that seem to remove God from the equation.