Father going to hell?

First, I hope I am posting in the right place and I apologize if I’m not.

When he and my mother were younger they were taken in by a snake oil salesman of a “priest.” He was a cult leader who tricked a lot of people into following him. My mother and father met each other in this cult - I think they were taken in so completely because his man was charismatic and they both were very vulnerable emotionally. The original cult leader died and has since been taken over by new - just as evil liars.

It was very difficult to break away from the cult once my dad realized something was wrong. We could lose connections to all our friends and family that joined. But when he left he thought it was just the people who were bad - not their original doctrine.

If you can imagine a church that used the bible but believed almost everything opposite of the Catholic Church. They set up their followers to be arrogant so they wouldn’t consider another church. They usually used the Catholic Church as everything we were not supposed to be. Somehow despite that my dad was a very wonderful, generous and kind person.

After we left it took me almost two decades to break their chains and unlearn everything they taught me. They damaged my relationship with God for so long. I’m so glad I started learning about the Catholic Church.

My dad died a few years after we left.

I’m just worried about him I guess. I know he was an adult but does God show lenience towards people like us? What if someone was horribly tricked like my father? Do they just get sent to hell anyway?

Only God knows the state of a person’s soul.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with hoping that your father will be in Heaven with God. It is to be encouraged! You should also pray for him. In Catholicism, a person has to knowingly reject God to be parted from Him in the afterlife (i.e. go to Hell). It is possible that your father was not capable of this as a result of his experience in this cult. You can’t say for sure, because you didn’t know his mind or his faith at the time of his death (since you aren’t him), but you can pray that God understood.

God’s love and mercy is infinite. We can’t even begin to comprehend it in this life.

Prayers for you and your dad. That must have been a very difficult experience.

Sometimes we need to realize that we are not more compassionate than God. Just think about that for a while.

God is not as cruel nor as black and white as human beings are. While it is true that there is a hell, it is also true that God wants nothing more than to save and he uses every possible means to do so.

God understands our human needs, weaknesses and limitations better than we do. He understands how much we really know, how much freedom we really have and how serious an action is. Our culpability is determined by these three elements.

In addition, because God lives outside of space and time, he also knows what we would have chosen had we known the truth. These are not secrets hidden to God. Finally, God always shows his mercy to the soul at the 11th hour. Christ revealed to St. Faustina that not a soul passes from this world to the next without one final opportunity to accept God’s mercy.

His justice is real. Even when we accept his mercy, we must make reparation for our sins. That’s why we have Purgatory. But if the soul accepts God’s final offer of mercy, God will safe from eternal damnation. God does not impose his mercy. It is freely offered and must be freely accepted.

We can only pray for those whom we love and commend them to the mercy of God rather than speculate about their eternal destiny.

Thanks for your replies. I will try to remember that God is compassionate. I’ll also pray for him as soon as I learn how.

As Catholics we are called to pray for the souls in Purgatory. We don’t know who is there or elsewhere. With some people you might have a stronger hunch than with another, but we really do not know. So we pray for our dead in our masses, novenas, and private prayer.

You also wrote, “Somehow despite that my dad was a very wonderful, generous and kind person.”

You were blessed to have an earthly dad like the earthly dad you described and just remember that you can speak to your Heavenly Dad, as Jesus told us to think of God the Father, in a very personal way and this “very personal way” is prayer.

God has a Plan and you should not worry about your earthly dad and you should pray for your earthly dad and you will see him one day, and one day you will know that God’s Plan truly is GOOD NEWS.

Dear Radish,
Take heart, prayer is a conversation with God, so whenever you are ready, all you need to do is to say the name “Father or Jesus”. Prayer is a journey, so some of us start with almost a “Hello” (it may sound a bit odd but any start is better than none), whilst others begin with the “Our Father” or another prayer. Prayer is reaching out to God and I have a feeling that maybe without knowing it, you may have already started.

May God bless and guide you.

PS. I have said a prayer for your beloved father. If you feel that you would like more prayers for your father, try putting a prayer request in the prayer intentions. I can assure you that the prayers offered are heartfelt and genuine.

As always :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

If God showed Himself to you, what would you want to talk to Him about?
Altho you cannot see Him, God is right there with you. Just start talking to Him about all those things you would want to ask or say to Him if you could see Him. That is prayer.

As usual, a very wise post. It emphasizes God’s mercy; the requirements of full knowledge and intention for serious sin and the need to pray for our dead loved ones. As another wise post stated, we are no more merciful than Our Lord. Pray for your dad, he was taken in but was still searching for our God. I have the greatest confidence the Shepherd found him as they were both looking for each other.

Thank you. That is what I usually did but I’ve been taught so many wrong things in my life sometimes I’m not sure what is right. This helps a lot.

Thank you. I’ll pray for him. It gives me hope I will see him again someday.

Radish, if you have any doubt about what is, and is not OK. Feel free to post on this forum.

The Catholic Church is the true Church created by Christ himself. And at least most on this forum are very knowledgeable about the Catholic Faith. All on here will be more than happy to assist in anyway that we can.

Judging the final destination of Heaven or hell is the authority of God. It is not ours. The Church has never declared who is in hell, not even Judas Iscariot. It is not her place, only God’s.

The Church has recognized that some people are in Heaven, but this is a recognition of what God has already judged and allowed us to be informed about. The Church is only revealing what has been revealed to her about some of the saints.

Say some prayers for your father, and have a few masses said for his soul. And unload your concerns and worries to Christ. Spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament and just speak to Him about what is on your mind.

Prayer - comes from your heart! The words can be a recital, but your heart is the substance of your intentions. What that means is…focus your mind and recall to your heart what you want God to ‘know’ as you recite the prayer He taught us to start with;

Our Father, who art in Heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name
Thy kingdom come,
Thy Will, be done,
On earth, as it is in Heaven
Gives us this day our daily bread
Forgive us our trespasses - as we forgive those who trespass against us
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
Amen.

Remember also that prayer is LISTENING to God.
Find a quiet place, or simply walk into ANY chapel or church and just sit quietly and just reflect on your parents and the experience you’ve endured, life in general. Just ‘BE.’

God’s voice would shatter every eardrum!..yet, your heart will tell you what’s right from wrong, good from evil. THAT’S where you always find Him! …when you listen!

In time you’ll come to realize He has been there the ENTIRE time throughout your life!..it’s just that you and your parents weren’t ‘listening’ because of being busy ‘looking’ for Him!

:cool:

As Catholics, we do believe in invincible ignorance: namely that some persons, practically speaking, do not have the opportunity to learn the truth. In that case, God will not hold it against them, but will judge them on what they did with what they had. It sounds as if the OP’s father could be such a case–before he knew better, he was sucked into this group, and then had little chance to escape them and learn better. But. as mentioned, in the end it is often hard to judge such individual cases–and we tend to refrain from judging in any case without pressing need–“judge not, lest you be judged.”

As Catholics, we do believe in invincible ignorance: namely that some persons, practically speaking, do not have the opportunity to learn the truth. In that case, God will not hold it against them, but will judge them on what they did with what they had. It sounds as if the OP’s father could be such a case–before he knew better, he was sucked into this group, and then had little chance to escape them and learn better. But. as mentioned, in the end it is often hard to judge such individual cases–and we tend to refrain from judging in any case without pressing need–“judge not, lest you be judged.”

I didn’t know that bmonk, thank you.

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