How do we know for sure that Hell won't be empty?

Hi everyone. A person on another thread asked me how I know for sure that Hell won’t be empty. I am not sure how to answer this. :blush: Does the Church definitively teach that there will be anyone at all in Hell? I posted this Bible verse as evidence that there will be people in Hell:

(Matthew 7:13 RSV) "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

But what I need is an official statement from the Church that states that there will be people in Hell. Please help!

The Church has no idea how many souls are in hell/will be in hell, therefore it makes no statement about it. It does, however, make various statements about avoiding hell. These warnings would have no validity if it was impossible for anyone to go there.

How do we know for sure that Hell won’t be empty?

Answer: because I’m pretty sure there’s an certain cat we once owned there. :smiley:

Okay, leaving now, back to serious…

You didnt answer the question. The question was how do we know hell wont be empty? it wasnt whether it was impossible to go there.

I am not sure there is an official statement that says" There are souls in hell." However, various councils, and scripture does say that souls who “die in mortal sin go to hell.” (Florence, Trent, Catechisms, etc.) This coupled with Christ’s own words(mention above in Matthew 7:14) and John’s vision in the Book of Revelation, not to mention private revelations like Fatima(children saw souls as snow flakes going down to hell) leads to a logical conclusion that souls are in hell.

Well from scripture we know there is one man there. The rich man from Luke 16.

Then there are references to certain things in hell.

Matthew 8:12: “…there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:42: “… there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 13:50: " there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 25:30: "… there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

If Hell was empty, who’s doing all the gnashing???

I am positive it’s not empty.

wide is the way to destruction and many shall find it.

The story of the rich man may be a parable.

It may be he was in Purgatory (he did have concern for his brothers).

I’m afraid I didn’t make my point clearly, then. It’s an ergo proposition. If it is possible for souls to go to hell, and we are all sinners, ergo, there must be souls in hell.

The original question is: how many go to hell according to the Church. The answer is, as I already stated: the Church doesn’t know so it has no statement as to the number of souls in hell/if any souls are there.

Maybe the Church should publish an official anti-martyrology of the damned, but then there would likely be more clerics on that list than in any book of saints.

Jesus warned of the reality of hell more than anyone. There is no need to warn of hell if it will be empty.

Although not human persons, at least the Devil and his angels will be in hell

Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

**My precious sister Holly, you are surely answering the call to serve our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ,
perhaps we should say to these questions, “i don’t know, what do you think?”

**We are not called to have all the answers, we are simply called to have all the Love that Jesus had!
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!


After a great deal of contimplation on this matter, including reading many many threads, listeing to Catholic radio and readin much material. The answer to this has finally become clear to me.

Virutally all (more then 99%) of Catholics, even those who consider them somewhat devout and ALL other people in the world in in a state of mortal sin. Therefore virually everybody is in need of a special outpouring of Christ’s Mercy.

Therefore either Christ pardons us all or we go to hell. People will dance all around this reply but the dance ends here. Simple math:

All catholics - catholics who contracept - catholics who do not attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of obligation + all those with perfect contrition = Heaven

Therefore much less then 1%.

All (all those whom I have ever encountered) need a pardon beyond the Cross.

Wonderful isn’t it?

I think gelsbern provided good Scriptural examples. I also think that though not dogmatic, the apparitions at Fatima are Church approved, and within those are descriptions of people in hell as seen by the visionaries. (Sister Lucia’s “Vision of Hell”)

The belief that no one is in Hell is called Universalism and that belief has been condemned by the Church as heretical. I don’t know which council or what document to point you to but it is the reason that Origen is not St. Origin.

Not a valid argument.


  1. It is possible for cars to go to Toledo.
  2. We are all traveling in cars.
    Therefore, there must be cars in Toledo.

The conclusion does not follow from the premises. (Sorry to be picky, though!) :o

For your information the Church believes what Jesus said:

CCC 1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: **“Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” **

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where “men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

People who seem to know who’s going to hell for some reason never see themselves going there:confused:Maybe because the are not looking at their own sins and are too busy looking at the others:rolleyes:

And I hate to be picky, but you left out a crucial element that made my premise perfectly sound–we’re all sinners.


therefore, there will be human souls joining the devil and his angels in hell

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