Skip to comments.Pope says hell and damnation are real and eternal
Posted on 03/27/2007 8:06:40 PM PDT by phatus maximus
HELL is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful, Pope Benedict XVI has said.
Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome, the Pope said that in the modern world many people, including some believers, had forgotten that if they failed to "admit blame and promise to sin no more", they risked "eternal damnation - the inferno".
Hell "really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more".
The Pope, who as cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of Catholic doctrine, noted that "forgiveness of sins" for those who repented was a cornerstone of Christian belief.
He recalled that Jesus had forgiven the "woman taken in adultery" and prevented her from being stoned to death, observing: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
God had given men and women free will to choose whether "spontaneously to accept salvation...the Christian faith is not imposed on anyone, it is a gift, an offer to mankind".
Vatican officials said the Pope - who is also the Bishop of Rome - had been speaking in "straightforward" language "like a parish priest".
He had wanted to reinforce the new Catholic catechism, which holds that hell is a "state of eternal separation from God", to be understood "symbolically rather than physically".
Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, a church historian, said the Pope was "right to remind us that hell is not something to be put on one side" as an inconvenient or embarrassing aspect of belief.
It was described by St Matthew as a place of "everlasting fire" (Matthew xxv, 41).
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
In 1999, pope John Paul II said heaven was "neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but that fullness of communion with God, which is the goal of human life".
Hell, by contrast, was "the ultimate consequence of sin itself. Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy".
In October, the Pope indicated that limbo, supposed since medieval times to be a "halfway house" between heaven and hell, was "only a theological hypothesis" and not a "definitive truth of the faith".
While at first blush this article seems rather well, "duh" I'm sure we all can think of the countless people we know who really think that everyone just gets to go to heaven because they're alive. Hell is not spoken of anymore in the sense that it should be...Christ speaks of hell constantly as a warning, but in today's world it's an after thought...anyway, found it to be an interesting article for all the various Christian posters here at FR whether your Catholic, Lutheran or another "breed"...blessings to all in Christ.
Heaven and hell are very real places, no matter what some previous Pope claimed. Choose wisely.
In Jesus' parable of Lazarus and the rich man with no name, He seems to be describing a real enough place.
I'm never fast enough... ;-)
I rarely post and so far I've doubled up everytime...sigh...someday I'll be the first!!
Blessings to you and yours.
In Jesus' parable, the place described is Hades, not hell. Hell is real enough, but does it have to be a "place" when at the end of time, the world we know will have passed away?
Yes, hell was a very real place, according to Jesus.
He should know.
If your interpretation is correct, why can Lazarus, Abraham and the Rich Man see each other and speak with each other? Are they all in the place of hell together?
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