Is this Catholic?


A quote from an anti-Catholic:

“Certainly, the fire that shall “try every man’s work of what sort it is” (I Cor 3:13) is not physical. It must be the “fire” of God’s justice, holiness, purity, and truth that exposes motives and would surely torment the conscience of the damned forever. This alone could constitute the flames in the Lake of Fire. No longer is any excuse plausible even to the most perverted. With no tree to hide behind, no fig leaf to cover, and standing naked before God, the flame of His justice burns the conscience with supernatural conviction. That eternal torment will be beyond anything we could imagine.”

His claim was that Catholics teach that the flames of purgatory & hell are physical. This is just about the only place where he gives his belief about judgment & hell.

Is this compatible with Catholic teaching? I’m having trouble finding info in the CCC. (Darned index.) :frowning:

Thanks in advance!


The souls in purgatory and hell are immaterial so how can the fire be physical?


The speaker seems to fail to take into account the fact that all people will be resurrected.

I do not believe the Catholic Church has a specific teaching or description of what the experience in purgatory will be like other than to say that there is some kind of purifying suffering. In the same vein, the Church has not taught what the exact sufferings of Hell will be either.

Since the scriptures are describing something that is likely happening to our immaterial souls, claiming that it is a literal fire, rather than an allegorical fire, does not seem logical.

Now what the punishment of Hell will actually be after the resurrection of the dead when we are all reunited with our bodies will be is another matter.


It’s saddening when people make up stuff about Catholicism. Many non-catholics have been taught lies. Since they believe their ministers and the books they read, how are they to know any difference.
Anti-Catholicism has become more of a problem. And that’s not to say it wasn’t a problem before. Many want to demonize catholics. Look at the field day they had with the sex scandal. If it had been in any other church, it would have been ignored. In fact, it IS being ignored. This sort of thing is happening in protestant churches as well.
I’m the only catholic in my family. And it’s amazing what they can come up with. What they believe. They have been misled and don’t seem to care. They can always ask me if they hear anything, but they don’t.


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