What are the arguments in favor of "We have a reasonable hope all men are saved"?

What arguments do people base this position on?

Too many Bible passages that don’t work with that for me. We are talking Jesus’ words in the Gospels too. Matthew 7:14, Matthew 7:21 - those two alone tell me the “We have a reasonable hope all men are saved” is someone trying to be “nice”.

There is a difference between being nice, and being loving. If we are loving we’ll tell the truth, even if it’s short term uncomfortable, but for the long term good.

Where did this idea of “We have a reasonable hope all men are saved”? come from?

Universalism is the theory that eventually everyone (including those in Hell) will be saved,
This is a heresy condemned by the Church.

I don’t think it’s “heresy”. I mean, Benedict XVI and JPII supported it. I’d hardly call them “heretics”.

I don’t think it’s orthodox universalism either, because it never implies everyone’s in heaven. The view is more of a prayer, basically imploring God to have mercy on every soul. That’s the “hope”.

I think it’s unfair to call this “heresy”, because a lot of devout Catholics who I know and love, including my confessor, would be schismatics. I know that’s not accurate.

It’s simply not a heresy for those reasons.

Just because 2 Pope’s have supported it doesn’t mean it is true. Jesus talks more about eternal fire and eternal damnation than He does about Heaven. He also says that the road to salvation is narrow. Paul says that er have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling so I don’t think it is good to say that we most of us are going to heaven. I think iot is just the opposite.


Totally agree! This is heresy.

Not all Catholics, and not even all confessors, get all things correct.

We do hope all men are saved. But that doesnt mean all men are actually saved.

Read this sermon by St.Leonard on “The Little Number of Those That are Saved”

I don’t remember if he takes into account children killed by abortion or unbaptized children. With those children maybe its more than fewness. The book Im reading now “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma,” by Ludwig Ott which is awesome says somewhere that it could be possibly 50/50. I hate putting numbers on these things because we want all men to be saved and that should be our goal. But St.Leonards sermon gives a good glimpse of this subject and helps people to conversion.

On none that could withstand a little critical thinking. It’s spiritual wishful thinking, it’s best to grapple with reality. What if there was a circle square, that was blue, that was hidden beneath incandescent, vibrant foliage in the forest of a country that doesn’t exist? The Church is not in the business of telling who specifically is in hell. I know Fr. Barron likes the idea of ‘‘what if hell was empty’’. At best it’s a futile exercise, a total waste of time, at worst, a way to glorify oneself as this great thinker who thinks novel, unprecedented concepts, and perhaps an invitation to presumption and to belittle the danger and threat of hell. It would be best for Fr. Barron and all the proponents of this nonsense to not overthink things and just go with what the Church/Catechism actually teaches. His time and attention should be on fulfilling his mission: seek truth, exhort sinners, preach, both in and out of season, fast and pray, love God and neighbour etc. This kind of baloney, pompous yet empty speech, and cloud-walking belongs to the likes of Bruce Wilkinson (if any of you are familiar with him).

One of the dogmas of the faith is that Hell is for eternity. I don’t see how there can be a hope that those in Hell will eventually be saved.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."617 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

Both of those popes taught that some people go to hell.

JP2: “In point of fact, the ancient councils rejected the theory of the ‘final apocatastasis,’ according to which the world would be regenrated after destruction, and every creature would be saved; a theory which indirectly abolished hell. … [T]he words of Christ are unequivocal. In Matthew’s Gospel he speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf. Matt. 25:46). [But] who will these be? The Church has never made any pronouncement in this regard.” source

Benedict XVI: “There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves. This is a terrifying thought, but alarming profiles of this type can be seen in certain figures of our own history. In such people all would be beyond remedy and the destruction of good would be irrevocable: this is what we mean by the word Hell.” source

Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong provides additional quotes by JP2 against universalism at this link: patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/09/did-pope-st-john-paul-ii-teach-universalism.html

They’re not attacking the eternal nature of hell, they’re kind of saying, ‘‘Hey, children, what if hell was actually…empty’’. They are not preaching that it is (heresy of universalism) but that there is room to entertain the thought that maybe, just maybe, not one soul has landed in hell. Both preposterous and ludicrous. They’re flirting with heresy but not quite committing it.

I think this phrase:

“we have a reasonable hope that…”

is sometimes equivalent to this phrase:

“it is reasonable to hope that…”

It is reasonable to Hope that all men will be saved because we ought to Hope that God’s desires will happen. “prayers…[should] be made for all men…[because] God our Savior…desires all men to be saved.” (1 Tim. 2:1-4)

If God desires it, we should Hope that God’s desires will happen. He is our friend: John 15:14. Hoping that our friends get their desires is just being a normal friend, at least when the desire is a good one. If my friend Jim desires a certain job, and it’s a good one, I ought to Hope he gets it, even if I Think he won’t. Similarly, we should Hope that all men be saved because God desires it, even if He has told us that, sadly, it won’t happen.

As last, that’s my attitude toward this. I think the reasonable hope refers to the fact that it is reasonable to hope this, and in this case I think “reasonable hope” is different from “reasonable expectation.” I don’t Expect everyone to be saved, but I Hope it.

I’d say one of the biggest arguments so far is that there is no solid proof that there has been one man who has not been “saved”.

Or woman.


This is exactly what I mean. People are picking at strawman :slight_smile:

Hans Urs von Balthasar, who has drawn a distinction between (his words) “pre-Easter Jesus and post-Easter Jesus” to help support his erroneous claim that we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved — a claim which stands in direct contradiction to dozens and dozens of saints, including St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine…

I disagree. The way the word “hope” is used in “We have a reasonable hope all men are saved” sounds like “expectation”. You could interchange the words “hope” and “expectation” here and the sentence would carry the same meaning as the sentence intended first day.

I guess you could say Gods mercy is so great that He saves everyone and wouldn’t send them to hell. Though that seems to contradict the churches teaching on dying in mortal sin. Unless somehow between the stages of losing consciousness and actually dying, God somehow gives people an opportunity to repent of their mortal sin and they are saved. Though if this is the case, it almost gives people a free reign to commit mortal sins all their life.

Because man does not decide God does. " For God all things are possible.”

23* Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, I say to you, it will be hard for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24k Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 25* When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, “Who then can be saved?” 26l Jesus looked at them and said, **“For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” **

Thank God human beings have no say in it or I would be really worried - seriously

We are not fit to rule or judge - just look at our world. I have no faith in mankind , all my faith is in God - God is our only hope.

That’s the mistake: Separating God’s Mercy from his Justice. God is a Merciful God, but at the same time He is Just

according to st. peter, 1 Peter 3:19, after His death and before His Resurrection, Jesus descended in to hell to preach the Gospel to the souls there so that the righteous who died before knowing Jesus would be able to enter heaven. this is also stated in the apostles creed.

for me, that conclusively states that human souls can go to hell. i say this because if Jesus had not descended to them, they would have remained there. it also seems to mean that God can, in a supernatural way, commute (through direct intervention) the verdict of hell for at least some of those there.

before anyone brings up the bosom of abraham, i know of it, but the souls there were not in heaven fi by heaven we mean complete and perfect union with almighty God.

i suppose the question could be about whether or not being eternally without total and loving union with God should be understood as hell.

some of the Church Fathers spoke of an existence of natural happiness without misery or pain.

but, in general, this whole subject is one of what is called speculative theology.

the part about Jesus descending in to hell is not part of speculative theology. i believe that part is de fide or of the faith. but whether or not Jesus freed all of the souls in hell when He descended there remains speculative.

i am sure it is not necessary to stake a position on this subject to be a faithful catholic destined for eternal life.

we can say with certainty that a human soul that opposes God’s love cannot unite with God until that opposition is eliminated from that soul.

we can also say with certainty, that living in opposition to God’s love is to live in misery and despair. that is true even for souls who have not yet left their physical and natural bodies.

i imagine that the fundamental argument, in the speculative realm, for all human souls going to heaven in the end revolves around some concept of invincible ignorance. personally, i have better activities to focus on than this speculative realm. i mean who can know whether the defense of invincible ignorance can save all souls. we simply cannot know the answer to that.

we know that the Prince of Darkness could not plead invincible ignorance, nor could those angels who backed him in his rebellion. why, because the angels experienced God as He is upon their creation.

this probably is not that helpful to many, but for now it is the best i can do.

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