Should the Church reconsider its position on hell?


#1

Apparently certain important Early Church Fathers such as St. Gregory of Nyssa felt that the notion of hell as eternal damnation was incompatible with the infinite love and mercy of God.

Should a new Council be called to re-examine the Church’s official position on hell with a view to its possible revision?


#2

Ug. I think I am the one yes on the poll because I pressed the wrong button, Sorry! I meant No.


#3

I voted no.

There will always be unrepentant, unforgiving people who will never accept God’s love or ever forgive others. They must be judged accordingly.


#4

Hell is for those who reject Gods Mercy. I believe people need to have fear of the Lord and presenting them with the consequences of sin is what the church needs to get back to.To much feel good gospel going on in our modern times. :frowning:


#5

Good grief!!! No, no, a thousand times no!!!
I said this some time ago, in a thread on universalism, & I will repeat it here:
Adolf Hitler & St, Teresa of Avila having teaparties in Heaven ?? I think :nope: NOT!!!


#6

Careful Zooey not to be judgemental. You know not the fate of Hitler. Yes, the majority of his life may have been filled with hatred but we do not know the true state of his mind upon his death.

God’s infinite mercy and love and justice are not compromised be the exsistance of hell. It is ultimately WE who choose our fate. If we did not practice virtues of love during our lives but rather the vices of hate, then our soul will of course not desire to be in the presence of God (heaven). Hell is the only other alternative.


#7

The Church should reconsider it’s position on hell only if God has changed His mind and done away with it.


#8

I don’t think a Council is needed. On the contrary, the only thing a Council would be needed for would be to reject such a reformulation, if it was heretical. In other words, I certainly don’t expect that the Church will ever declare that universal salvation is possible. But currently it seems to be treated as an allowable opinion–Hans Urs von Balthasar is a highly respected theologian of the past century who held this, and today Fr. Neuhaus takes the same view. (Cardinal Dulles is a bit more cautious, it appears.)

It clearly is not orthodox to say that universal salvation is inevitable. But until the Church clearly decrees otherwise, it appears to be allowable for Catholics to hold that universal salvation is possible.

Edwin


#9

SShhhhhh…some teachings are meant to be secret. Hush now. :tsktsk:


#10

Hello Romano,

Do you agree that It is Jesus who teaches us about eternal damnation. How could the Church disregard Jesus teachings on eternal punishment no matter who said differently.

Please visit WARNING! Jesus Does Not Forgive All

NAB MAT 25:41Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

NAB MAT 7:13

How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.**NAB2 MAR 3:29 **

But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." **NAB2 MAT 5:20 **

I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven . "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

NAB REV 22:12

“Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his conduct deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End! **Happy are they who wash their robes so as to have free access to the tree of life **and enter the city through its gates Outside are the dogs and sorcerers, the fornicators and murderers, the idol-worshipers and all who love falsehood.

NAB REV 2:22

“I mean to cast her down on a bed of pain; her companions in sin I will plunge into intense suffering unless they repent of their sins with her, and her children I will put to death. Thus shall all the churches come to know that I am the searcher of hearts and minds, and that I will give each of you what your conduct deserves.” Peace in Christ,

Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#11

How the he?! could the Church change truth by holding a council because hell makes people uncomfortable.


#12

Ironically, I must say that I believe God’s Perfect Mercy equates with Perfect Justice as well. If there really are Universal Moral and Natural Law, Mercy demands Grace and Justice. I believe in order to declare universal salvation the Church would also have to look at the Teachings Regarding mortal sin, Moral and Natural Law as well as the fallen angels. Just my two cents. Thanks and God Bless.


#13

[quote=bogeyjlg]Careful Zooey not to be judgemental. You know not the fate of Hitler. Yes, the majority of his life may have been filled with hatred but we do not know the true state of his mind upon his death.
God’s infinite mercy and love and justice are not compromised be the exsistance of hell. It is ultimately WE who choose our fate. If we did not practice virtues of love during our lives but rather the vices of hate, then our soul will of course not desire to be in the presence of God (heaven). Hell is the only other alternative.
[/quote]

With all due respect, I have to point out a couple of points here.
** I was using an example, not making a pronouncement on anyone’e fate**.Is there any real likelihood that these 2 people are sharing the same eternal fate???
One person spent her entire life in devoted service to our Lord. She prayed, she worked, above all, she believed & trusted in the God who created the universe. She lived & died in His friendship. That is what a saint is,IMHO.
The other practiced black magic, worshipped demonic spirits under the guise of “ancient gods”; he murdered millions of people by proxy, & at least a few directly.He died demanding the deaths of all his closest allies (most of whom killed them selves to please him, adding to his victims); he ended by committing suicide, not in sorrow or depression, but in rage at his loss of power & position. At no time in his life did he show repentance for anything.Quite the contrary.
Now, that said, is it possible that he is not in hell? Of course. Anything is possible. It is even possible that Hitler was saved, & Teresa lost. But as the Brits say, "Pigs may fly, but they make unlikely birds."
My point is that God is a God of mercy, but He is also a God of justice. That is why Jesus died on the cross to save us.
God bless.


#14

[quote=Steven Merten]Hello Romano,

Do you agree that It is Jesus who teaches us about eternal damnation. How could the Church disregard Jesus teachings on eternal punishment no matter who said differently.

Please visit WARNING! Jesus Does Not Forgive All

NAB MAT 25:41Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’ Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

NAB MAT 7:13

How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. "Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.**NAB2 MAR 3:29 **

But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin." **NAB2 MAT 5:20 **

I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven . "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.

NAB REV 22:12

“Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his conduct deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End! **Happy are they who wash their robes so as to have free access to the tree of life **and enter the city through its gates Outside are the dogs and sorcerers, the fornicators and murderers, the idol-worshipers and all who love falsehood.

NAB REV 2:22

“I mean to cast her down on a bed of pain; her companions in sin I will plunge into intense suffering unless they repent of their sins with her, and her children I will put to death. Thus shall all the churches come to know that I am the searcher of hearts and minds, and that I will give each of you what your conduct deserves.” Peace in Christ,

Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
[/quote]

Great post! Thanks for the excellent references!!


#15

For those of you who said YES, the church should change their position on Hell, I say,

Do you think Satan , who rebelled in person against God, should be placed in the same place as those who tried to obey God, such as John Paul II?


#16

The church continuously prays that ALL may be saved. The existance of Hell is certain (eg Satan) But the church does not identify any human there. At this time, it may be free of humans. There is a hint that Judas may have ended there.

Even if no human has yet entered hell, that does not mean none will in the future. So the church cannot change the teaching and existance of Hell till all have lived and died. Then, I think, we will pretty much know whether anyone is there.

I’ll continue to pray that I don’t end there, but my concept of Hell leaves me believeing that even if I go to Hell, I won’t know if I am the only one. I don’t think it’s a party/sharing/mutual assisting type place. One who goes there would not be that kind of a person.


#17

Fear of the Lord is the first step to wisdom.

No. Hell is a very real place and God does NOT send people there. People send themselves there.


#18

Maybe those who want to change the church’s position on hell would like to see a ‘kinder, gentler’ hell. Gee, warm and fuzzy just doesn’t cut it for me. Hell is not suppose to be a place that someone doesn’t mind going to. That’s the point! Hell is hell, a very bad place to go. If you change that, then I think that people will not work as hard to be as good as possible.


#19

My priest always tells us that Hell is locked from the inside. If you are there, it is your own fault. There is surely a Hell for the Bible and the Church tell us so.


#20

[quote=romano]Apparently certain important Early Church Fathers such as St. Gregory of Nyssa felt that the notion of hell as eternal damnation was incompatible with the infinite love and mercy of God.

Should a new Council be called to re-examine the Church’s official position on hell with a view to its possible revision?
[/quote]

No, the Church can’t change what it has always taught. Second, an overshelming majority of the Church Fathers taught that there was a hell, and that there will be people there. Gregory of Nyssa was wrong.


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