Publicly Wishing Someone Would Go To Hell

I’d like to respond to someone who publicly stated that he wished a specific group of named people would go to hell (and meant it, in a literal sense). My understanding is that we’re not allowed to do that. However, I have not been able to find any magisterial sources saying that we shouldn’t do it.

Catechism would suffice. Encyclicals would be better. Does anyone know where I can find a quotation that I can use to show him that this isn’t acceptable?

Catechism section on the second and fifth commandments.

How about 2 Peter 3:9? If the Lord does not wish any should perish, how can we?

It’s not okay to wish any person or group of people would go to hell in public or in private.

As NHInsider said, if Jesus desires the salvation of all, so should we.

I think some people use such language in order to make the point of how much they dislike a certain person or group of people. I should hope they don’t literally mean that they do not want them to convert and glorify God through their conversion. Even so, I think it’s a poor way to make that point. It’s hard to express a desire for someone else to suffer the eternal fires of hell without coming across as a bit cold-hearted (to put it mildly).

Love your neighbor as yourself…

To will someone the evil of hell is the supreme act of hatred and of course is wrong…that should stand to reason given what the virtue of charity means

Thank you for the comments, all. I had a look through the catechism, and the closest I could find was 2303, which condemns hatred, when one “deliberately wishes him evil”.

The problem is that, unless there’s a very specific reference to wishing another to go to hell, he won’t believe me. So, I’m still looking.

There are several, actually, but Romans 12:14 says:

Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse.

Matthew 5:43-5

You have heard that it has been said, You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. 44But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven

The Church doesn’t give separate, specific condemnations of every single immoral act. Producing such a list would be time consuming and counter-productive – because then someone would come along and say that since this, super-specific thing is not on the list, then that must mean it’s okay, even though it violates Christian moral principles.

So I don’t think you’re going to find some specific quote in a Church document that exactly fits this situation. If your friend cannot apply the general principle of not “deliberately wish[ing] him evil” to the specific reference of wishing a person to an eternity of torment and separation from God, then he has bigger problems that you probably cannot help him with.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit