Carl Olson comments on and list many of the newstories covering Pope Benedicts XVI brief mention of Hell while celebrating Mass at the Parish of St. Felicity and Martyred Sons in the Diocese of Rome. The following is one of the dumber commentaries.
POPE BENEDICT XVI has reiterated the existence of Hell and condemned society for not talking about eternal damnation enough.
A furious Pope Benedict unleashed a bitter attack during a sermon while on a visit to a parish church and said: "Hell exists and there is eternal punishment for those who sin and do not repent."
Sounding "more of a parish priest than a Pope" the leader of the world’s one billion Roman Catholics added: "The problem today is society does not talk about Hell. It’s as if it did not exist, but it does."
Pope Benedict unleashed his fury during a visit to the tiny parish church of St Felicity and the Martyr Children at Fidene on the outskirts of Rome, in his capacity as bishop of the Italian capital.
One churchgoer said: "The Holy Father was really having a go. It was a typical fire-and-brimstone sermon that you would have expected from a parish priest years ago."
They forgot to say that "smoke was coming out of his ears" as he said this and that he was shaking his fist for emphasis. The scandal though is not what the pope said, but that it is even news in the first place. His mentioning of Hell only highlights its almost complete mention from most homilies. For me the doctrine of Hell is only more proof of God’s great love for us. That he has given us free will so that we can choose to be with him eternity or to reject him for eternity. I think the idea that no matter what we do or want choose and still end up in the Beatific Vision to be much scarier than Hell. If we can’t reject his love than we are just robots thinking we have free will all being corralled into the same direction.
C.S. Lewis’ _The Great Divorce_ should be required reading for everybody. Hmm…wonder if the Pope’s read him? 🙂
They forgot to mention that he was seen punching walls in perparation for the homily.
What a shocker! The Pope talking about Hell.
Actually Hell is a lot like where I live. You don’t get there by accident, you have to be going there deliberately.
Too bad he didn’t take off his shoe and bang it on the pulpit. That would have been awesome.
If Hell did not exist, why love your neighbor?
We may as well nail ourselves to diamond-encrusted crosses for the purposes of financial gain. … Did I type that out loud?
GRRR….there goes the Church’s German Shepherd, baring his teeth again. Pay attention this time!
AAC, I read your post and I think of Bob Elliot (of Bob & Ray fame) who wanted to run for President and he was going to use Bryant’s “I will not be nailed to a Cross of Gold!” platform; because as far we know, they did not do that. 🙂
Panda Rosa-I agree with your comment about the “German Shepherd baring his teeth”….GRRRR! You always have a way with words!
Wish I could have been there to see him give that sermon….
Even Disney was erudite enough to mention “Hell” in Sleeping Beauty when the evil fairy Maleficent told Prince Philip, “Now shall you deal with me, O Prince, and all the powers of HELL!”
This reminds me of an Opus Dei retreat I attended years back when the priest remarked that intoning “Infierno” in a booming voice is much more effective than “Hell.” Ah, how true!
You true believers wouldn’t want the “poorly catechized” to read THE GREAT DIVORCE, which is set in a thoroughly Swedenborgian conception of the intermediate state. (Having MacDonald say to him “I’ll have no Swedenborg… among my children”) suggests to me that Lewis never actually READ Swedenborg, knowing only the popular notion that “it has something to do with spiritualism.”)