The Roman Catholic pope recently made remarks that demonstrate that the Catholic Church is as committed to sound doctrine as a mirage is to offering water in the desert. As reported by “Libero Quotidiano,” his words represent a profound deviation from Christian orthodoxy—even that of the Roman Catholic Church. His personal belief in an ’empty hell’ nudges perilously close to the edges of universalism. This notion, while masked in the garb of compassion, raises serious theological red flags.
“What I will say is not a dogma of faith but something personal,” Francis said, according to the report in Italian. “I like to think of hell as empty, I hope it’s reality.”
Consider that the core of Christian doctrine, unambiguously outlined in Scripture, clearly teaches the existence of both heaven and hell—and that not only are both populated, hell is actually the default and heaven is the narrow gate that few people truly find. It’s a fundamental dichotomy, representing the ultimate destinations of souls based upon their election in Christ. To insinuate an ’empty hell’ is to undermine this foundational truth, effectively diluting the seriousness of sin and the monumental sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
It’s a slippery slope. Once you start chipping away at the bedrock of biblical authority, what’s left? A malleable, human-centric theology, untethered from divine revelation, becomes vulnerable to whims and fancies. It’s a dangerous game to play, reshaping God’s Word to fit modern sensibilities or personal interpretations. This isn’t just a theological misstep; it’s a full-blown departure from the faith once delivered to the saints.
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Let’s call it what it is, a rejection of the truth. It’s not just about theological precision. It’s about the integrity of the gospel—something the Roman Catholic Church abandoned centuries upon centuries ago. This is about eternal destinies here, not mere philosophical ponderings. In reality, the Pope, like all who are without Christ, are terrorized day and night by the reality of looming death and cannot bear the thought of their eternal state. Therefore, they attempt to mitigate that fear by imagining their own fate that is detached from reality. That is the heresy of universalism.