Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s “Thoughts” Are Irrelevant to Catholic Truth

Although I have been waiting for a full transcript of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s January 14, 2024, interview with an Italian talk show host named Fabio Fazio, it is absent such a transcript that I will offer a few remarks about the Argentine Apostate’s “thoughts” about hell that have their origin in the deceits of that dreadful place’s chief jailer and tormentor.

Here is a report about “Pope Francis’s” latest efforts to cast doubt upon whether any soul is in hell:

Pope Francis was asked how he imagines hell if he really believes God forgives everyone who asks.

“It’s difficult to imagine it,” the pope said. “What I would say is not a dogma of faith, but my personal thought: I like to think hell is empty; I hope it is.” (Francis says he hopes hell is ‘empty’.)

What is “difficult” to imagine about the existence of hell?

We have the plain words of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself:

6- But he that shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea  [Matthew 18:6]  7 Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.  8 And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.  9 And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18: 6-9)

Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets.  32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  33 You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell 34 Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:  35 That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23: 31-35.)

41 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.  42 For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.  43 I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.  44 Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee?  45 Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

 46 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. (Matthew 25: 41-46.)

There is no “idea” of hell.

Hell exists.

It is real, and it is for all eternity.

The false “pontiff’s” answer to the observation made by his interviewer, Fabio Fazio, was premised upon the belief that the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, forgives all who ask Him for forgiveness. This is not so as Our lord only forgives those who have true contrition for their sins and who promise to amend their lives and sin no more, and the only place to receive His forgiveness is, barring an expression of perfect contrition at the time of one’s death, in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance as an alter Chrstus acting in persona Christ must judge whether the penitent is truly sorry and has a sincere desire to amend his life. A confessor sitting in the place of the Divine Judge in the Confessional has the power to absolve and to retain sins:

He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you.  22 When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost.  23 Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. (John 20: 21-23.)

The false belief that God forgives sinners intent on persisting in their sins is logically connected to the false belief that hell is empty. These false beliefs explain why Jorge Mario Bergoglio is perfectly sanguine about the salvation of Catholics in public life who support the chemical and surgical assassination of innocent preborn children within the sanctuaries of their mothers’ wombs and of those people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who are actively in engaged in sodomy, fornication, or adultery, as well as those who have mutilated their bodies by chemical and surgical means in the vain effort to become a member of the opposite gender.

Not only has “Pope Francis” never said a word of rebuke to these people in a sense of duty to admonish the sinner, but he has also gone out of his way to reaffirm by words, deeds, and gestures as he has made it clear that what are, objectively speaking, Mortal Sins are no impediment to enjoying the glories of Heaven. He does not believe that hardened sinners run the risk of eternal hellfire even though he warned the Mafia in Sicily about such a possibility ten years ago. The irony of this contradiction is that the Mafia has long specialized in promoting as much vice as possible, including sins against Holy Purity.

In truth, you see, Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s belief that no one is in hell is yet another expression of the heresy of “universal salvation” that was promoted by the mentor of the late Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, Father Hans Urs von Balthasar, who did not even believe that Judas Iscariot’s eternal damnation nor in the eternity of hell itself despite the plain words of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself contained in the Sacred Scripture.

As explained in 1999 by “Father” Regis Scanlan, O.F.M., Cap, on “The Inflated Reputation of Hans Urs von Balthasar” that appeared in the New Oxford Review, von Balthasar could deny the words of Our Lord about hell and even the fate of Judas himself as He, Our Lord, did not know He was God until after the Resurrection. Such a blatant, blasphemous heresy, which has been echoed at times by Jorge Mario Bergoglio in the past ten years in a number of oblique ways, did not in the least bit diminish Ratzinger/Benedict’s admiration of von Balthasar, whose work is still cited and promoted by Ignatius Press.

“Father” Scanlan’s article explains how Jorge Mario Bergoglio can believe that hell is empty:

The theological ideas of Hans Urs von Balthasar, the Swiss Catholic theologian who died in 1988, have captured the imagination of Catholic scholars throughout the Church. Both "conservative" and "progressive" churchmen have hailed him as one of the century's pre-eminent theologians. He has been called one of "the twentieth century's outstanding Catholic thinkers," and compared to Augustine and Aquinas. Clearly, Balthasar's opinions carry considerable weight among Catholics today.

Balthasar's "Hope" For Judas & All Men

Balthasar, in Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? claimed there was no certainty that anyone is in Hell or ever will be in Hell. He stated that "the Church ... has never said anything about the damnation of any individual. Not even about that of Judas." Thus, he declared, every Christian has the "obligation" to hope that all men are saved, including Judas.

It seems compassionate to desire that all men be saved and to be horrified at the thought of anyone suffering eternal punishment -- even Judas. But this feeling must not cloud the intellect to the point of undermining the Gospel or the natural law and truth itself. The problem with Balthasar's "hope" is that it conceals an implicit doubt about the Church's philosophy of truth and her doctrine on Jesus Christ.

A hope is absurd unless there is the possibility that it will be realized in the future. But, if Balthasar's "hope" would come to fruition and everyone would in fact be saved, what would then be said about the fact that this situation contradicts statements in sacred Scriptures, Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church? If these sources clearly teach that Judas or someone else is in Hell (or will be in Hell), then to hope that everyone will be saved is to hope either that these sources of revelation are in error or that the natural law with its principle of noncontradiction is in error. A hope like this really seems to be a doubt that the natural law and "unchangeable truth" exist and can be known by the Church. It seems to be a doubt about one's faith and the sources of revelation. And if Jesus Christ Himself taught that Judas or anyone else is in Hell (or will be in Hell), then to "hope" for universal salvation is to hope that Jesus made erroneous statements. The most disconcerting feature of Balthasar's hope for universal salvation is that its logic appears to require an assumption of Christ's ignorance and fallibility.

But the question is: Do Scriptures, Tradition, and the Magisterium clearly teach anything about the end of Judas and the possibility of universal salvation? Let's investigate.

The Gospel Of John 17:12

The certainty of Judas's damnation does not primarily rest on Matthew's statement: "It would be better for that man if he had never been born" (Mt. 26:24). Rather, as St. Augustine demonstrated in his Homilies on the Gospel of John, it is John 17:12 that indicates Judas's eternal punishment:

The Son therefore goes on to say: "Those that thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but [i.e., except] the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled" (Jn. 17:12). The betrayer of Christ was called the son of perdition, as foreordained to perdition, according to the Scripture, where it is specially prophesied of him in the 109th psalm" [in some Bibles 108th Psalm] (Tractate cvii, No.7, ch. xvii. 9-13).

When Jesus stated, "that the Scripture might be fulfilled," He was referring to Psalm 109. St. Peter applied Psalm 109:8 to Judas, when he said: "It is written in the Book of Psalms, ... 'May another take his office"' (Acts 1:20). By applying Psalm 109:8 to Judas, Peter also pointed to Judas's damnation, because Psalm 109:6-7 says of the very same person mentioned there: "Set thou the sinner over him: and may the devil stand at his right hand. When he is judged, may he go out condemned and may his prayer be turned to sin." Verse 7, "May his prayer be turned to sin," or "May his plea be in vain," foretells Judas's (the betrayer's) final impenitence. So, John 17:12, Acts 1:20, and Psalm 109:7 together indicate the betrayer's eternal damnation.

St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, also maintained that Judas suffered eternal punishment because he died without final repentance and forgiveness. St. Ambrose in his Concerning Repentance said: "For I suppose that even Judas might through the exceeding mercy of God not have been shut out from forgiveness, if he had expressed his sorrow not before the Jews but before Christ." St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica stated: "Thus; as men are ordained to eternal life through the providence of God, it likewise is part of that providence to permit some to fall away from that end; this is called reprobation" (1a, q. 23, art. 3). And in De Veritate St. Thomas said: "Now, in the case of Judas, the abuse of grace was the reason for his reprobation, since he was made reprobate because he died without grace" (vol. 1, q. 6, art. 2). St. Thomas certainly judged that "Judas was reprobated." ("Reprobated" means rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.)

Again, according to St Catherine of Siena, God the Father pointed out Judas's eternal punishment when He explained to Catherine the meaning of the sin against the Holy Spirit. God said:

This is that sin which is never forgiven, now or ever: the refusal, the scorning, of my mercy. For this offends me more than all the other sins they have committed. So the despair of Judas displeased me more and was a greater insult to my Son than his betrayal had been. Therefore, such as these are reproved for this false judgment of considering their sin to be greater than my mercy, and for this they are punished with the demons and tortured eternally with them (No. 37, emphasis added).

Thus, Judas perished not simply because of his part in Jesus' trial, but because of a final act of "despair" or "blasphemy against the Holy Spirit" (Mk. 3:29) at the "moment of death," says St. Catherine.

Finally, other saints taught that Judas's perdition was certain. For example, the great scholar St. Thomas More in The Sadness of Christ said: "The place of Scripture which predicts that Judas would perish is in Psalm 109, where the psalmist prophesies in the form of a prayer: 'May his days be few, and may another take over his ministry."' More explained:

Tthe fact that this prophetic utterance applies to Judas was suggested by Christ [Jn. 17:12], was made clear by Judas's suicide, was afterwards made quite explicit by Peter [Acts 1:20], and was fulfilled by all the apostles when Mathias was chosen by lot to take his place [Acts 1:26] and thus another took over his ministry.... He [Christ] has spoken: "Father, I have guarded those whom you gave to me, and none of them has perished except the son of perdition." I think it worthwhile to consider here for a moment how strongly Christ foretold in these words the contrast between the end of Judas and the end of the rest, the ruination of the traitor Judas and the success of the others. For He asserts each future outcome with such certainty that He announces them not as future happenings but as events that have already definitely taken place....

St Thomas More referred to Judas's act as one of "refusing to be saved." He also stated: "Infallibly certain about the fate of the traitor, Christ expresses his future ruin with such certainty that He asserts it as if it had already come to pass."

The Gospel Of Luke 13:23-24

A second scriptural passage that abolishes the possibility of universal salvation, and with it Balthasar's hope that all men be saved, is Luke 13:23-24. Luke states: "But someone said to him, 'Lord, are only a few to be saved?' But he said to them, 'Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able"' (Lk. 13:23-24). Now, "many ... will not be able ... to enter" means that "many" will not be saved.

Jesus' words in Luke 13:23-24 cannot be false. Pius X "condemned" the statement that "Divine inspiration does not so extend to all Sacred Scripture, that it fortifies each and every part of it against all error." (Enchiridion Symbolorum [Denzinger] 30th edition, Nos. 2011, 2065 [a]. Texts from this standard work will be cited as Denz.) And the Second Vatican Council states that "the books of Scripture" "teach" the "truth" of God "without error" (Dei Verbum, No. 11). Thus, there is divine, infallible, or absolute certainty that many will not enter the Kingdom of God.

Balthasar in Dare We Hope admitted that St. Augustine's belief that many go to Hell was clearly held by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, such as "Gregory the Great... Anselm, Bonaventure, and Thomas [Aquinas]," and by Church scholars such as the Venerable Cardinal Newman. Balthasar blamed St. Augustine for misleading the Church about the "numerous inhabitants" of Hell. But in fact it was Jesus, not Augustine, who first said that "many" would be lost (Lk. 13:23-24). Also, Jude 1:7 says that, "Sodom and Gomorrah ... have been made an example, undergoing the punishment of eternal fire." The Council of Quiersy in 853 stated that, "not all will be saved" (Denz. No. 318); the Third Council of Valence in 855 referred to those "who from the beginning of the world even up to the passion of our Lord, have died in their wickedness and have been punished by eternal damnation" (Denz. No. 323); and Pius II in 1459 even condemned the opinion "That all Christians are to be saved" (Denz. No. 717[b]).

Thus, even though the Magisterium has not yet condemned Judas by name or the mere "hope" for universal salvation, the Church is not in doubt about this matter. Scripture, Tradition, and the Magisterium certify that Judas and others have perished. Consequently, Balthasar's "hope" for universal salvation would necessarily be a "hope" that contradicts Scriptures, Tradition, and Magisterium.

Balthasar's Philosophical Reasons

A look at Hegelian philosophy will help us understand why Balthasar thought that he could contradict Jesus' statement that Judas is "lost" by hoping that Judas is saved. Eighteenth-century philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel claimed that no religious statement or concept is absolutely true. All are false or relative in some way. Only God is absolute truth. Therefore, according to Hegel's understanding, religious statements, concepts, or dogmas can be contradictory and only find their resolution or synthesis in God who is Absolute Truth. Hegel said that every concept contained a "Negative, which it carries within itself." For Hegel this positive-negative opposition within the concept was called the dialectic and it was "a necessary procedure of reason." Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines "dialectic" as "the Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite." Thus, Hegel maintained "the Necessity of Contradiction" for all thought to develop toward the Absolute, which is God.

A Brief Interjection:

This exactly what Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI believed throughout his entire priestly life of apostasy, and it is nothing other than tragic that some who had criticized the Bavarian “new theologian” for his own Hegelianism before he issued Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007, ignored it thereafter as the various myths began to be promoted that he, Ratzinger/Benedict, was the “restorer of tradition” when he was noting of the kind.

Back to “Father” Scanlan’s article, which does, as can be seen in the passages above, references tot he “Second” Vatican Council and, in a passage or two below, to Karol Josef Wojtyla/John Paul II, continues the narrative of von Balthasar’s belief that truth contains within itself the seeds of its own contradiction:

Similarly, Balthasar believed that contradiction is a part of truth. As he explained in Word and Revelation, he believed that expressions of' "worldly truth," like "worldly Being," can be "contradictory" and even expressions of scriptural truths can be opposites or "contrary." Balthasar agreed with Hegel that "only God is 'the absolute truth'" and "'all truth is not, negation itself is in God' " (emphasis added). Thus, statements in the Bible are not absolutely true but each is relative and in some way negative or false, and these statements will find their synthesis only when we come to the Father who is absolute truth. But, for now, one cannot have complete confidence even in the words of Christ. Balthasar stated: "The word of Christ, who spoke as no other had spoken, who alone spoke as one having power, is nonetheless an  insecure bridge between the wordlessness of the world and the superword of the father" (emphasis added).

Thus, Balthasar argued in Dare We Hope, beside the condemnatory scriptural statements that teach that there are people in Hell, there are also redemptive scriptural statements that "hold out the prospect of universal redemption." He used this example: "God wills that all men be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4). Balthasar claimed that these redemptive scriptural statements are "seemingly opposed" to the condemnatory scriptural statements such as "many ... will not be able... to enter." He maintained that, "we neither can nor may bring [them] into synthesis." Since these "contradictory" statements can only be resolved in eternal life, we don't know the outcome. So, for Balthasar, we can still hope that Judas is saved.

But these statements appear contradictory only because Balthasar interpreted God's statements of desire, such as "God wills that all men be saved," as if they were statements of future realities, like "many ... will not be able ... to enter." But, we cannot treat God's statements of desire as if they were statements about future realities. Just as we know that God willed or desired Adam and Eve not to eat of the "fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden" (Gen. 3:3), so we know for certain that God desires that no one sin. But, Adam and Eve ate of the tree and sinned. Consequently, hoping that all will be saved -- when Scripture says that some are lost -- is like hoping that no one ever sins when we know that Adam and Eve have sinned. The hope is an absurdity.

More importantly, however, Balthasar's philosophy of truth violates the first self-evident principle of the speculative reason (the natural law), which states that the same thing cannot be affirmed and denied at the same time (the principle of noncontradiction). One cannot say that Judas is "lost" and that Judas is "not lost" (saved) at the same time. And to "hope" that Judas is saved when Scripture says that he is already lost is to hope for a contradiction in Scripture and in the Church's teachings. But, this violates the Church's defined teaching that God cannot... ever contradict truth with truth(Denz. No. 1797), which guarantees that the meaning of Jesus' teachings in the New Testament and the Church's dogmas can never be different but always remain the same (Denz. No.1818).

Let's look at the most probable theological reason why Balthasar would be so bold as to "hope" for universal salvation in flat contradiction to Jesus' words in John 17:12 and Luke 13:24.

The Most Likely Theological Reason

Balthasar did not believe that Jesus' omniscience (or his all-knowing attribute) kept Him from speaking error or functioned to make Jesus' statements infallible. In You Crown the Year With Your Goodness, Balthasar stated:

But is not the Son of God also God? As such, is he not omniscient? Yes, but that does not mean that he wished to share all his divine attributes with his human nature. Here, doubtless, there are mysteries we shall never fully penetrate. But one thing we can say: just as the Son, as God, eternally receives full divinity (and hence full omniscience) from his Father, so he eternally gives himself, all that he has and is, back to the Father in gratitude; it is at his Father's disposal. Thus, in some way, we can understand that, when the Son's eternal "procession" from the Father takes the shape of a "mission" to the world, the Son deposits his divine attributes (without losing them) with the Father in heaven. For we read that he "emptied himself" of his divine form (Phil. 2:27) precisely so that he could be humanly obedient unto death (emphasis added).

Balthasar implies that, though the "Son of God" has "omniscience," His "omniscience" is nonfunctional when He comes to earth on a mission." For Balthasar, when the Son of God "emptied himself" for His mission to the world, He emptied Himself of His divine attribute of "omniscience" "without losing" it. But, how does the divine Son, Jesus Christ, have omniscience and at the same time not have omniscience? Balthasar seems to say in effect that, when the Son of God descended into the womb of Our Lady, He came down with a case of divine amnesia.

So, if the Son of God's divine omniscience was not operative while He was on earth, then He did not know more than any other human being. Consequently, for Balthasar, Jesus (like anyone else) could not know beyond His own human experience, and the infallibility of His eschatological statements about the hereafter cannot be guaranteed.

According to Balthasar, then, Jesus' nonfunctioning divine omniscience would surely have affected His knowledge of the last judgment. Balthasar stated:

"he [Jesus] is strictly ignorant of the hour. "But of that day or that hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father" (Mk. 13:32). This is crucially important; we must take it absolutely literally (emphasis added)."

But, the "hour" of Jesus' final coming is the "hour" of the last judgment, for the scriptural passage that speaks of the judgment of the "sheep" and "goats" begins: "When the Son of Man comes in his glory" (Mt. 25:31-46). If Jesus was "strictly ignorant of the hour" of His final coming, He was ignorant of the last judgment of Judas and others. So, Balthasar implies that Jesus was ignorant and fallible about the last judgment and the final end of Judas and others.

Because Balthasar's hope for universal salvation contradicts Christ's words in John 17:12 and Luke 13:23-24, the validity of Balthasar's hope logically depends upon the possibility of Christ's statements in John 17:12 and Luke 13:24 being erroneous. So, even though Balthasar nowhere explicitly states it, his "hope" is logically based upon his theory that Christ did not speak with omniscience and infallibility.

Balthasar's "Hope" Rested On A Condemned Theory

If one were to accept Balthasar's theory that Jesus was "strictly ignorant of the hour" of His final coming, one could hardly explain how Jesus could describe the events of His final coming in Matthew 24:15-42 ("the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light... they will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of heaven"). This is what St. Ephrem, the fourth-century Doctor of the Church, pointed out. In his Commentary on the Diatessaron he stated about Jesus: "He described the signs of his coming; how could what he has himself decided be hidden from him?" St. Ephrem said that the first reason why Our Lord did not make the time of His final coming plain, was "so all generations and ages await him eagerly" and "think that he would come again in their own day." St. Ephrem also said, "He has not made it plain for this reason especially, that no one may think that he whose power and dominion rule all numbers and times is ruled by fate and time."

Thus, this opinion, that there was ignorance in Jesus, was already rejected during the fourth-century Arian heresy by Church Fathers such as St. Ephrem (and St. Ambrose). It was officially condemned by Pope Vigilius on May 14, 553, when he taught that "If anyone says that the one Jesus Christ, true Son of God and true Son of Man, was ignorant of future things, or of the day of the last judgment ... let him be anathema." (Denzinger, 29th ed., No. 419).

This error was refuted most thoroughly in A.D. 600 when Pope Gregory I (St. Gregory the Great) rebutted the Monophysite sect known as the "Agnoetae" who also held that Mark 13:32 ("neither the Son, nor the angels know the day and the hour") indicated that Christ was ignorant (all cites in this paragraph are from Denz. No. 248). Pope Gregory taught that Christ knew by means of two natures, and what He did not know "from" His human nature, He knew "from" His divine nature. Thus, Pope Gregory maintained that, while Christ knew "the day and the hour of judgment" in His human nature, He knew this from His divine nature and not from His human nature. He said: "Therefore, that which in [nature] itself He knew, He did not know from that very [nature]." So, Christ knew all things "in His human nature." Pope Gregory stated: "so the omnipotent Son says He does not know the day which He causes not to be known, not because He himself is ignorant of it, but because He does not permit it to be known at all." And, he concluded:

For with what purpose can he who confesses that the Wisdom itself of God is incarnate say that there is anything, which the Wisdom of God does not know? It is written: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... All things were made by him [John 1:13]. If all, without doubt also the day of judgment and the hour. Who, therefore, is so foolish as to presume to assert that the Word of the Father made that which He does not know? It is written also: Jesus knowing, that the Father gave him all things into his hands [John 13:3]. If all things, surely both the day of judgment and the hour. Who, therefore, is so stupid as to say that the Son has received in His hands that of which He is unaware? (Denz. No. 248.)

Obviously, if the Son received into His hands "all things," including "the day of judgment," surely He also knew who would, and who would not, be saved -- even Judas!

Again, there is only "one Person" in "Christ" and this Person is a divine Person -- namely, "God" (Denz. No. 282-283). We say that the divine Person Jesus Christ knows by means of His two natures. But, while Jesus Christ has a double consciousness, He has only one center or I (ego) of consciousness, which is divine. John Paul II puts it this way:

"There is no gospel text, which indicates that Christ spoke of himself as a human person, even when he frequently referred to himself as "Son of Man." This term is rich with meaning. Under the veil of biblical and messianic expression, it seems to imply that he who applies it to himself belongs to a different and higher order than that of ordinary mortals as far as the reality of his "I" is concerned. It is a term, which bears witness to his intimate awareness of his own divine identity."

Although He has a fully human nature and a fully divine nature, Christ is a divine Person, not a human person. And, whatever we say about the knowledge of the Person of Jesus Christ we say about the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Thus, Jesus Christ had infinite knowledge "in" His human nature, but He had this knowledge from His divine Person.

Jesus could experience suffering in His human nature as something new to His Person, which He had never experienced. And, surely, as Fr. John Harden says, Christ had "sense perception and derive[d] corresponding knowledge from such experience" -- i.e., "experiential knowledge" (The Catholic Catechism). Once more, the Son of God (Jesus Christ) could "conceal" some property manifested by His Person, like the manifestation of His glory or the immensity of His majesty (see Phil. 2:7, "he emptied himself), and this would account for a lack of consolation flowing to His human nature from His beatific vision. But He could not give up something intrinsic to His divine Person or His divine Being. And God's self-knowledge is intrinsic to His divine Being, for St. Thomas Aquinas says that, "God understands Himself through Himself." And, he says: "the act of God's intellect is His substance" and "His act of understanding must be His essence and His existence" (Summa Theologica, 1a, q. 14, art. 2).

It is not surprising, then, that Pius X "condemned" any statement that denies "the infallible knowledge of Jesus Christ" or any statement that denies that Jesus had "knowledge circumscribed by no limit" (Denz. Nos. 2032, 2034, 2065[a]). Nor was it surprising that under Benedict XV the Church taught that "Christ was ignorant of nothing, but from the beginning knew all things in the Word, past, present, and future, or all things that God knows by the knowledge of vision" (Denz. Nos. 2184, 2289). So, Balthasar's "hope" for universal salvation rested logically on a theory of Christ's ignorance and fallibility, which had been often and variously condemned.

Compassion To A Fault

If Jesus suffered from divine amnesia, then there is more in doubt than just the eternal whereabouts of Judas. If Jesus' omniscience and infallibility were nonfunctional, then Christianity itself is in doubt. Mark 13:32 ("neither the Son, nor the angels know the day and the hour") can be explained in harmony with the Fathers and the Tradition of the Church. One should note that when Mark uses the term "Son" he is not referring to Jesus as Son of God, with an emphasis on Jesus' divine nature, but as "Son of Man," with an emphasis on Jesus' human nature (Mk. 8:31, 9:9, 10:33, 13:26). Thus, when Jesus refers to His own knowledge or act of knowing (neither the Son ... knows), this is most probably a reference to the origin of this knowledge, or Jesus' human act of knowing through His human consciousness. In other words, Jesus is saying that "the Son" (of Man) does not "know" the day or the hour of His coming "from" His human nature (although He knew these things from His divine nature). This is in harmony with the Fathers and the popes of the Church who have consistently interpreted Mark 13:32 down through the ages to mean that Jesus knew the day and the hour but chose not to reveal it to mankind. And, if a scriptural passage can be interpreted in harmony with the rest of the Church and Scriptures, the Catholic must accept this interpretation. When Balthasar interpreted Mark 13:32 apart from the Tradition and Magisterium of the Church, especially in flat contradiction to Pope Vigilius"anathema," he sided with Nestorians, Arians, and other heretics.

St. Teresa of Avila stated about a doubt or "thought" against a Church teaching, even a "small truth" of the Church: "just to pause over this thought is already very wrong." Similarly, the Venerable John Henry Newman, in Discourses to Mixed Congregations, stated that, "no one should enter the Church without a firm purpose of taking her word in all matters of doctrine and morals, and that, on the ground of her coming directly from the God of Truth." Moreover, he said about a Catholic who "set out about following a doubt which has occurred to him": "I have not to warn him against losing his faith, he is not merely in danger of losing it, he has lost it; from the nature of the case he has lost it; he fell from grace at the moment when he deliberately entertained and pursued his doubt" (emphasis added). From this perspective the most disquieting feature of Balthasar's "hope" for universal salvation is that it smuggles into the heart of the Catholic a serious doubt about the truth of the Catholic faith under the guise of one of the most beautiful and natural aspects of love, namely, compassion. (Regis Scanlan, O.F.M., Cap., “The Inflated Reputation of Hans Urs von Balthasar,” New Oxford Review, 1998.)

Reverend Regis Scanlon. O.F.M. Cap., who died on November 6, 2021, was not a traditionalist. He was a Capuchin Franciscan presbyter, who was working in the Archdiocese of Denver at the time he wrote this article for New Oxford Review in 1999. Nonetheless, though, Reverend Scanlon's analysis was based on a thorough understanding of Catholic doctrine and on the acceptance of the principle of non-contradiction, that two mutually contradictory statements cannot be simultaneously true. Hans Urs von Balthasar's contradiction of defined dogma, including that in the realm of Christology itself, is incompatible with Catholic truth. It is erroneous. The mere fact that the alleged “restorer of tradition,” Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, was a disciple of this deluded man does not redeem his errors, try as the late Bavarian “New Theologian”: did to "mainstream," if you will, von Balthasar's errors into the very pulse of the counterfeit church of conciliarism.

Even though Ratzinger/Benedict’s successor, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, does not label it as such, his belief that “hell is empty” is but another, albeit modified, expression of Von Balthasar’s heresy of “universal salvation.” I say “modified” as Senor Jorge’s constant condemnations of “rigid” Catholics implies that such “Pharisees” will not be saved.

Although the Church has never officially placed any particular soul in Hell, we know that souls go there. This is the late Sister Lucia's description of the vision of Hell that she shared with her cousins, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, when Our Lady appeared to them for the third time, July 13, 1917:

She opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.

Our Lady taught the children of Fatima to say the following prayer at the end of each decade of her Most Holy Sosary

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need.

Our Lady's Fatima Message included a Vision of hell. It included a prayer that we be saved from the fire of hell. A man who believes in the error of Universal Salvation cannot admit that there is a necessity to be saved from hell, especially if we "dare hope" that all men will be saved. The only trouble for Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the same as it was for Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, namely, both the existence of hell is found in Scripture and have been dogmatically defined by popes and dogmatic councils. They are irreformable.

The truth of the matter, of course, is that, as Saint Leonard of Port Maurice explained, there are few in number who will be saved:

Thanks be to God, the number of the Redeemer's disciples is not so small that the wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees is able to triumph over them. Although they strove to calumniate innocence and to deceive the crowd with their treacherous sophistries by discrediting the doctrine and character of Our Lord, finding spots even in the sun, many still recognized Him as the true Messiah, and, unafraid of either chastisements or threats, openly joined His cause. Did all those who followed Christ follow Him even unto glory? Oh, this is where I revere the profound mystery and silently adore the abysses of the divine decrees, rather than rashly deciding on such a great point! The subject I will be treating today is a very grave one; it has caused even the pillars of the Church to tremble, filled the greatest Saints with terror and populated the deserts with anchorites. The point of this instruction is to decide whether the number of Christians who are saved is greater or less than the number of Christians who are damned; it will, I hope, produce in you a salutary fear of the judgments of God.

Brothers, because of the love I have for you, I wish I were able to reassure you with the prospect of eternal happiness by saying to each of you: You are certain to go to paradise; the greater number of Christians is saved, so you also will be saved. But how can I give you this sweet assurance if you revolt against God's decrees as though you were your own worst enemies? I observe in God a sincere desire to save you, but I find in you a decided inclination to be damned. So what will I be doing today if I speak clearly? I will be displeasing to you. But if I do not speak, I will be displeasing to God.

Therefore, I will divide this subject into two points. In the first one, to fill you with dread, I will let the theologians and Fathers of the Church decide on the matter and declare that the greater number of Christian adults are damned; and, in silent adoration of that terrible mystery, I will keep my own sentiments to myself. In the second point I will attempt to defend the goodness of God versus the godless, by proving to you that those who are damned are damned by their own malice, because they wanted to be damned. So then, here are two very important truths. If the first truth frightens you, do not hold it against me, as though I wanted to make the road of heaven narrower for you, for I want to be neutral in this matter; rather, hold it against the theologians and Fathers of the Church who will engrave this truth in your heart by the force of reason. If you are disillusioned by the second truth, give thanks to God over it, for He wants only one thing: that you give your hearts totally to Him. Finally, if you oblige me to tell you clearly what I think, I will do so for your consolation.

The Teaching of the Fathers of the Church

It is not vain curiosity but salutary precaution to proclaim from the height of the pulpit certain truths which serve wonderfully to contain the indolence of libertines, who are always talking about the mercy of God and about how easy it is to convert, who live plunged in all sorts of sins and are soundly sleeping on the road to hell. To disillusion them and waken them from their torpor, today let us examine this great question: Is the number of Christians who are saved greater than the number of Christians who are damned?

Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them. To resolve this doubt, let us put the Fathers of the Church, both Greek and Latin, on one side; on the other, the most learned theologians and erudite historians; and let us put the Bible in the middle for all to see. Now listen not to what I will say to you for I have already told you that I do not want to speak for myself or decide on the matter but listen to what these great minds have to tell you, they who are beacons in the Church of God to give light to others so that they will not miss the road to heaven. In this manner, guided by the triple light of faith, authority and reason, we will be able to resolve this grave matter with certainty.

Note well that there is no question here of the human race taken as a whole, nor of all Catholics taken without distinction, but only of Catholic adults, who have free choice and are thus capable of cooperating in the great matter of their salvation. First let us consult the theologians recognized as examining things most carefully and as not exaggerating in their teaching: let us listen to two learned cardinals, Cajetan and Bellarmine. They teach that the greater number of Christian adults are damned, and if I had the time to point out the reasons upon which they base themselves, you would be convinced of it yourselves. But I will limit myself here to quoting Suarez. After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he wrote, "The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Christians, there are more damned souls than predestined souls."

Add the authority of the Greek and Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, and Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, "Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom." Saint Anselm declares, "There are few who are saved." Saint Augustine states even more clearly, "Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned." The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: "Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence."

The Words of Holy Scripture

But why seek out the opinions of the Fathers and theologians, when Holy Scripture settles the question so clearly? Look in to the Old and New Testaments, and you will find a multitude of figures, symbols and words that clearly point out this truth: very few are saved. In the time of Noah, the entire human race was submerged by the Deluge, and only eight people were saved in the Ark. Saint Peter says, "This ark was the figure of the Church," while Saint Augustine adds, "And these eight people who were saved signify that very few Christians are saved, because there are very few who sincerely renounce the world, and those who renounce it only in words do not belong to the mystery represented by that ark." The Bible also tells us that only two Hebrews out of two million entered the Promised Land after going out of Egypt, and that only four escaped the fire of Sodom and the other burning cities that perished with it. All of this means that the number of the damned who will be cast into fire like straw is far greater than that of the saved, whom the heavenly Father will one day gather into His barns like precious wheat.

I would not finish if I had to point out all the figures by which Holy Scripture confirms this truth; let us content ourselves with listening to the living oracle of Incarnate Wisdom. What did Our Lord answer the curious man in the Gospel who asked Him, "Lord, is it only a few to be saved?" Did He keep silence? Did He answer haltingly? Did He conceal His thought for fear of frightening the crowd? No. Questioned by only one, He addresses all of those present. He says to them: "You ask Me if there are only few who are saved?" Here is My answer: "Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able." Who is speaking here? It is the Son of God, Eternal Truth, who on another occasion says even more clearly, "Many are called, but few are chosen." He does not say that all are called and that out of all men, few are chosen, but that many are called; which means, as Saint Gregory explains, that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble.

Salvation in the Various States of Life

But oh, I see that by speaking in this manner of all in general, I am missing my point. So let us apply this truth to various states, and you will understand that you must either throw away reason, experience and the common sense of the faithful, or confess that the greater number of Catholics is damned. Is there any state in the world more favorable to innocence in which salvation seems easier and of which people have a higher idea than that of priests, the lieutenants of God? At first glance, who would not think that most of them are not only good but even perfect; yet I am horror-struck when I hear Saint Jerome declaring that although the world is full of priests, barely one in a hundred is living in a manner in conformity with state; when I hear a servant of God attesting that he has learned by revelation that the number of priests who fall into hell each day is so great that it seemed impossible to him that there be any left on earth; when I hear Saint Chrysostom exclaiming with tears in his eyes, "I do not believe that many priests are saved; I believe the contrary, that the number of those who are damned is greater."

Look higher still, and see the prelates of the Holy Church, pastors who have the charge of souls. Is the number of those who are saved among them greater than the number of those who are damned? Listen to Cantimpre; he will relate an event to you, and you may draw the conclusions. There was a synod being held in Paris, and a great number of prelates and pastors who had the charge of souls were in attendance; the king and princes also came to add luster to that assembly by their presence. A famous preacher was invited to preach. While he was preparing his sermon, a horrible demon appeared to him and said, "Lay your books aside. If you want to give a sermon that will be useful to these princes and prelates, content yourself with telling them on our part, 'We the princes of darkness thank you, princes, prelates, and pastors of souls, that due to your negligence, the greater number of the faithful are damned; also, we are saving a reward for you for this favor, when you shall be with us in Hell.'"

Woe to you who command others! If so many are damned by your fault, what will happen to you? If few out of those who are first in the Church of God are saved, what will happen to you? Take all states, both sexes, every condition: husbands, wives, widows, young women, young men, soldiers, merchants, craftsmen, rich and poor, noble and plebian. What are we to say about all these people who are living so badly? The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, "Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell."

Our chronicles relate an even more dreadful happening. One of our brothers, well-known for his doctrine and holiness, was preaching in Germany. He represented the ugliness of the sin of impurity so forceful that a woman fell dead of sorrow in front of everyone. Then, coming back to life, she said, "When I was presented before the Tribunal of God, sixty thousand people arrived at the same time from all parts of the world; out of that number, three were saved by going to Purgatory, and all the rest were damned."

O abyss of the judgments of God! Out of thirty thousand, only five were saved! And out of sixty thousand, only three went to heaven! You sinners who are listening to me, in what category will you be numbered?... What do you say?... What do you think?...

I see almost all of you lowering your heads, filled with astonishment and horror. But let us lay our stupor aside, and instead of flattering ourselves, let us try to draw some profit from our fear. Is it not true that there are two roads which lead to heaven: innocence and repentance? Now, if I show you that very few take either one of these two roads, as rational people you will conclude that very few are saved. And to mention proofs: in what age, employment or condition will you find that the number of the wicked is not a hundred times greater than that of the good, and about which one might say, "The good are so rare and the wicked are so great in number"? We could say of our times what Salvianus said of his: it is easier to find a countless multitude of sinners immersed in all sorts of iniquities than a few innocent men. How many servants are totally honest and faithful in their duties? How many merchants are fair and equitable in their commerce; how many craftsmen exact and truthful; how many salesmen disinterested and sincere? How many men of law do not forsake equity? How many soldiers do not tread upon innocence; how many masters do not unjustly withhold the salary of those who serve them, or do not seek to dominate their inferiors? Everywhere, the good are rare and the wicked great in number. Who does not know that today there is so much libertinage among mature men, liberty among young girls, vanity among women, licentiousness in the nobility, corruption in the middle class, dissolution in the people, impudence among the poor, that one could say what David said of his times: "All alike have gone astray... there is not even one who does good, not even one."

Go into street and square, into palace and house, into city and countryside, into tribunal and court of law, and even into the temple of God. Where will you find virtue? "Alas!" cries Salvianus, "except for a very little number who flee evil, what is the assembly of Christians if not a sink of vice?" All that we can find everywhere is selfishness, ambition, gluttony, and luxury. Is not the greater portion of men defiled by the vice of impurity, and is not Saint John right in saying, "The whole world if something so foul may be called "is seated in wickedness?" I am not the one who is telling you; reason obliges you to believe that out of those who are living so badly, very few are saved.

But you will say: Can penance not profitably repair the loss of innocence? That is true, I admit. But I also know that penance is so difficult in practice, we have lost the habit so completely, and it is so badly abused by sinners, that this alone should suffice to convince you that very few are saved by that path. Oh, how steep, narrow, thorny, horrible to behold and hard to climb it is! Everywhere we look, we see traces of blood and things that recall sad memories. Many weaken at the very sight of it. Many retreat at the very start. Many fall from weariness in the middle, and many give up wretchedly at the end. And how few are they who persevere in it till death! Saint Ambrose says it is easier to find men who have kept their innocence than to find any who have done fitting penance.

If you consider the sacrament of penance, there are so many distorted confessions, so many studied excuses, so many deceitful repentances, so many false promises, so many ineffective resolutions, so many invalid absolutions! Would you regard as valid the confession of someone who accuses himself of sins of impurity and still holds to the occasion of them? Or someone who accuses himself of obvious injustices with no intention of making any reparation whatsoever for them? Or someone who falls again into the same iniquities right after going to confession? Oh, horrible abuses of such a great sacrament! One confesses to avoid excommunication, another to make a reputation as a penitent. One rids himself of his sins to calm his remorse, another conceals them out of shame. One accuses them imperfectly out of malice, another discloses them out of habit. One does not have the true end of the sacrament in mind, another is lacking the necessary sorrow, and still another firm purpose. Poor confessors, what efforts you make to bring the greater number of penitents to these resolutions and acts, without which confession is a sacrilege, absolution a condemnation and penance an illusion?

Where are they now, those who believe that the number of the saved among Christians is greater than that of the damned and who, to authorize their opinion, reason thus: the greater portion of Catholic adults die in their beds armed with the sacraments of the Church, therefore most adult Catholics are saved? Oh, what fine reasoning! You must say exactly the opposite. Most Catholic adults confess badly at death, therefore most of them are damned. I say "all the more certain," because a dying person who has not confessed well when he was in good health will have an even harder time doing so when he is in bed with a heavy heart, an unsteady head, a muddled mind; when he is opposed in many ways by still-living objects, by still-fresh occasions, by adopted habits, and above all by devils who are seeking every means to cast him into hell. Now, if you add to all these false penitents all the other sinners who die unexpectedly in sin, due to the doctors' ignorance or by their relatives' fault, who die from poisoning or from being buried in earthquakes, or from a stroke, or from a fall, or on the battlefield, in a fight, caught in a trap, struck by lightning, burned or drowned, are you not obliged to conclude that most Christian adults are damned? That is the reasoning of Saint Chrysostom. This Saint says that most Christians are walking on the road to hell throughout their life. Why, then, are you so surprised that the greater number goes to hell? To come to a door, you must take the road that leads there. What have you to answer such a powerful reason?

The answer, you will tell me, is that the mercy of God is great. Yes, for those who fear Him, says the Prophet; but great is His justice for the one who does not fear Him, and it condemns all obstinate sinners.

So you will say to me: Well then, who is Paradise for, if not for Christians? It is for Christians, of course, but for those who do not dishonor their character and who live as Christians. Moreover, if to the number of Christian adults who die in the grace of God, you add the countless host of children who die after baptism and before reaching the age of reason, you will not be surprised that Saint John the Apostle, speaking of those who are saved, says, "I saw a great multitude which no man could number."

And this is what deceives those who pretend that the number of the saved among Catholics is greater than that of the damned... If to that number, you add the adults who have kept the robe of innocence, or who after having defiled it, have washed it in the tears of penance, it is certain that the greater number is saved; and that explains the words of Saint John, "I saw a great multitude," and these other words of Our Lord, "Many will come from the east and from the west, and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven," and the other figures usually cited in favor of that opinion. But if you are talking about Christian adults, experience, reason, authority, propriety and Scripture all agree in proving that the greater number is damned. Do not believe that because of this, paradise is empty; on the contrary, it is a very populous kingdom. And if the damned are "as numerous as the sand in the sea," the saved are "as numerous at the stars of heaven," that is, both the one and the other are countless, although in very different proportions.

One day Saint John Chrysostom, preaching in the cathedral in Constantinople and considering these proportions, could not help but shudder in horror and ask, "Out of this great number of people, how many do you think will be saved?" And, not waiting for an answer, he added, "Among so many thousands of people, we would not find a hundred who are saved, and I even doubt for the one hundred." What a dreadful thing! The great Saint believed that out of so many people, barely one hundred would be saved; and even then, he was not sure of that number. What will happen to you who are listening to me? Great God, I cannot think of it without shuddering! Brothers, the problem of salvation is a very difficult thing; for according to the maxims of the theologians, when an end demands great efforts, few only attain it.

That is why Saint Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, after weighing all the reasons pro and con in his immense erudition, finally concludes that the greater number of Catholic adults are damned. He says, "Because eternal beatitude surpasses the natural state, especially since it has been deprived of original grace, it is the little number that are saved."

So then, remove the blindfold from your eyes that is blinding you with self-love, that is keeping you from believing such an obvious truth by giving you very false ideas concerning the justice of God, "Just Father, the world has not known Thee," said Our Lord Jesus Christ. He does not say "Almighty Father, most good and merciful Father." He says "just Father," so we may understand that out of all the attributes of God, none is less known than His justice, because men refuse to believe what they are afraid to undergo. Therefore, remove the blindfold that is covering your eyes and say tearfully: Alas! The greater number of Catholics, the greater number of those who live here, perhaps even those who are in this assembly, will be damned! What subject could be more deserving of your tears?

King Xerxes, standing on a hill looking at his army of one hundred thousand soldiers in battle array, and considering that out of all of them there would be not one man alive in a hundred years, was unable to hold back his tears. Have we not more reason to weep upon thinking that out of so many Catholics, the greater number will be damned? Should this thought not make our eyes pour forth rivers of tears, or at least produce in our heart the sentiment of compassion felt by an Augustinian Brother, Ven. Marcellus of St. Dominic? One day as he was meditating on the eternal pains, the Lord showed him how many souls were going to hell at that moment and had him see a very broad road on which twenty-two thousand reprobates were running toward the abyss, colliding into one another. The servant of God was stupefied at the sight and exclaimed, "Oh, what a number! What a number! And still more are coming. O Jesus! O Jesus! What madness!" Let me repeat with Jeremiah, "Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? And I will weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people."

Poor souls! How can you run so hastily toward hell? For mercy's sake, stop and listen to me for a moment! Either you understand what it means to be saved and to be damned for all eternity, or you do not. If you understand and in spite of that, you do not decide to change your life today, make a good confession and trample upon the world, in a word, make your every effort to be counted among the littler number of those who are saved, I say that you do not have the faith. You are more excusable if you do not understand it, for then one must say that you are out of your mind. To be saved for all eternity, to be damned for all eternity, and to not make your every effort to avoid the one and make sure of the other, is something inconceivable.

The Goodness of God

Perhaps you do not yet believe the terrible truths I have just taught you. But it is the most highly-considered theologians, the most illustrious Fathers who have spoken to you through me. So then, how can you resist reasons supported by so many examples and words of Scripture? If you still hesitate in spite of that, and if your mind is inclined to the opposite opinion, does that very consideration not suffice to make you tremble? Oh, it shows that you do not care very much for your salvation! In this important matter, a sensible man is struck more strongly by the slightest doubt of the risk he runs than by the evidence of total ruin in other affairs in which the soul is not involved. One of our brothers, Blessed Giles, was in the habit of saying that if only one man were going to be damned, he would do all he could to make sure he was not that man.

So what must we do, we who know that the greater number is going to be damned, and not only out of all Catholics? What must we do? Take the resolution to belong to the little number of those who are saved. You say: If Christ wanted to damn me, then why did He create me? Silence, rash tongue! God did not create anyone to damn him; but whoever is damned, is damned because he wants to be. Therefore, I will now strive to defend the goodness of my God and acquit it of all blame: that will be the subject of the second point.

Before going on, let us gather on one side all the books and all the heresies of Luther and Calvin, and on the other side the books and heresies of the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians, and let us burn them. Some destroy grace, others freedom, and all are filled with errors; so let us cast them into the fire. All the damned bear upon their brow the oracle of the Prophet Osee, "Thy damnation comes from thee," so that they may understand that whoever is damned, is damned by his own malice and because he wants to be damned.

First let us take these two undeniable truths as a basis: "God wants all men to be saved," "All are in need of the grace of God." Now, if I show you that God wants to save all men, and that for this purpose He gives all of them His grace and all the other necessary means of obtaining that sublime end, you will be obliged to agree that whoever is damned must impute it to his own malice, and that if the greater number of Christians are damned, it is because they want to be. "Thy damnation comes from thee; thy help is only in Me."

God Desires All Men to be Saved

In a hundred places in Holy Scripture, God tells us that it is truly His desire to save all men. "Is it My will that a sinner should die, and not that he should be converted from his ways and live?... I live, saith the Lord God. I desire not the death of the sinner. Be converted and live." When someone wants something very much, it is said that he is dying with desire; it is a hyperbole. But God has wanted and still wants our salvation so much that He died of desire, and He suffered death to give us life. This will to save all men is therefore not an affected, superficial and apparent will in God; it is a real, effective, and beneficial will; for He provides us with all the means most proper for us to be saved. He does not give them to us so they will not obtain it; He gives them to us with a sincere will, with the intention that they may obtain their effect. And if they do not obtain it, He shows Himself afflicted and offended over it. He commands even the damned to use them in order to be saved; He exhorts them to it; He obliges them to it; and if they do not do it, they sin. Therefore, they may do it and thus be saved.

Far more, because God sees that we could not even make use of His grace without His help, He gives us other aids; and if they sometimes remain ineffective, it is our fault; for with these same aids, one may abuse them and be damned with them, and another may do right and be saved; he might even be saved with less powerful aids. Yes, it can happen that we abuse a greater grace and are damned, whereas another cooperates with a lesser grace and is saved.

Saint Augustine exclaims, "If, therefore, someone turns aside from justice, he is carried by his free will, led by his concupiscence, deceived by his own persuasion." But for those who do not understand theology, here is what I have to say to them: God is so good that when He sees a sinner running to his ruin, He runs after him, calls him, entreats and accompanies him even to the gates of hell; what will He not do to convert him? He sends him good inspirations and holy thoughts, and if he does not profit from them, He becomes angry and indignant, He pursues him. Will He strike him? No. He beats at the air and forgives him. But the sinner is not converted yet. God sends him a mortal illness. It is certainly all over for him. No, brothers, God heals him; the sinner becomes obstinate in evil, and God in His mercy looks for another way; He gives him another year, and when that year is over, He grants him yet another.

But if the sinner still wants to cast himself into hell in spite of all that, what does God do? Does He abandon him? No. He takes him by the hand; and while he has one foot in hell and the other outside, He still preaches to him, He implored him not to abuse His graces. Now I ask you, if that man is damned, is it not true that he is damned against the Will of God and because he wants to be damned? Come and ask me now: If God wanted to damn me, then why did He create me?

Ungrateful sinner, learn today that if you are damned, it is not God who is to blame, but you and your self-will. To persuade yourself of this, go down even to the depths of the abyss, and there I will bring you one of those wretched damned souls burning in hell, so that he may explain this truth to you. Here is one now: "Tell me, who are you?" "I am a poor idolater, born in an unknown land; I never heard of heaven or hell, nor of what I am suffering now." "Poor wretch! Go away, you are not the one I am looking for." Another one is coming; there he is. "Who are you?" "I am a schismatic from the ends of Tartary; I always lived in an uncivilized state, barely knowing that there is a God." "You are not the one I want; return to hell." Here is another. "And who are you?" "I am a poor heretic from the North. I was born under the Pole and never saw either the light of the sun or the light of faith." "It is not you that I am looking for either, return to Hell." Brothers, my heart is broken upon seeing these wretches who never even knew the True Faith among the damned. Even so, know that the sentence of condemnation was pronounced against them and they were told, "Thy damnation comes from thee." They were damned because they wanted to be. They received so many aids from God to be saved! We do not know what they were, but they know them well, and now they cry out, "O Lord, Thou art just... and Thy judgments are equitable."

Brothers, you must know that the most ancient belief is the Law of God, and that we all bear it written in our hearts; that it can be learned without any teacher, and that it suffices to have the light of reason in order to know all the precepts of that Law. That is why even the barbarians hid when they committed sin, because they knew they were doing wrong; and they are damned for not having observed the natural law written in their heart: for had they observed it, God would have made a miracle rather than let them be damned; He would have sent them someone to teach them and would have given them other aids, of which they made themselves unworthy by not living in conformity with the inspirations of their own conscience, which never failed to warn them of the good they should do and the evil they should avoid. So it is their conscience that accused them at the Tribunal of God, and it tells them constantly in hell, "Thy damnation comes from thee." They do not know what to answer and are obliged to confess that they are deserving of their fate. Now if these infidels have no excuse, will there be any for a Catholic who had so many sacraments, so many sermons, so many aids at his disposal? How will he dare to say, "If God was going to damn me, then why did He create me?" How will he dare to speak in this manner, when God gives him so many aids to be saved? So let us finish confounding him.

You who are suffering in the abyss, answer me! Are there any Catholics among you? "There certainly are!" How many? Let one of them come here! "That is impossible, they are too far down, and to have them come up would turn all of hell upside down; it would be easier to stop one of them as he is falling in." So then, I am speaking to you who live in the habit of mortal sin, in hatred, in the mire of the vice of impurity, and who are getting closer to hell each day. Stop, and turn around; it is Jesus who calls you and who, with His wounds, as with so many eloquent voices, cries to you, "My son, if you are damned, you have only yourself to blame: 'Thy damnation comes from thee.' Lift up your eyes and see all the graces with which I have enriched you to insure your eternal salvation. I could have had you born in a forest in Barbary; that is what I did to many others, but I had you born in the Catholic Faith; I had you raised by such a good father, such an excellent mother, with the purest instructions and teachings. If you are damned in spite of that, whose fault will it be? Your own, My son, your own: 'Thy damnation comes from thee.'

"I could have cast you into hell after the first mortal sin you committed, without waiting for the second: I did it to so many others, but I was patient with you, I waited for you for many long years. I am still waiting for you today in penance. If you are damned in spite of all that, whose fault is it? Your own, My son, your own: "Thy damnation comes from thee." You know how many have died before your very eyes and were damned: that was a warning for you. You know how many others I set back on the right path to give you the good example. Do you remember what that excellent confessor told you? I am the one who had him say it. Did he not enjoin you to change your life, to make a good confession? I am the One who inspired him. Remember that sermon that touched your heart? I am the One who led you there. And what has happened between you and Me in the secret of your heart, ...that you can never forget.

"Those interior inspirations, that clear knowledge, that constant remorse of conscience, would you dare to deny them? All of these were so many aids of My grace, because I wanted to save you. I refused to give them to many others, and I gave them to you because I loved you tenderly. My son, My son, if I spoke to them as tenderly as I am speaking to you today, how many others souls return to the right path! And you... you turn your back on Me. Listen to what I am going to tell you, for these are My last words: You have cost Me My blood; if you want to be damned in spite of the blood I shed for you, do not blame Me, you have only yourself to accuse; and throughout all eternity, do not forget that if you are damned in spite of Me, you are damned because you want to be damned: 'Thy damnation comes from thee.' "

O my good Jesus, the very stones would split on hearing such sweet words, such tender expressions. Is there anyone here who wants to be damned, with so many graces and aids? If there is one, let him listen to me, and then let him resist if he can.

Baronius relates that after Julian the Apostate's infamous apostasy, he conceived such great hatred against Holy Baptism that day and night, he sought a way in which he might erase his own. To that purpose he had a bath of goat's blood prepared and placed himself in it, wanting this impure blood of a victim consecrated to Venus to erase the sacred character of Baptism from his soul. Such behavior seems abominable to you, but if Julian's plan had been able to succeed, it is certain that he would be suffering much less in hell.

Sinners, the advice I want to give you will no doubt seem strange to you; but if you understand it well, it is, on the contrary, inspired by tender compassion toward you. I implore you on my knees, by the blood of Christ and by the Heart of Mary, change your life, come back to the road that leads to heaven, and do all you can to belong to the little number of those who are saved. If, instead of this, you want to continue walking on the road that leads to hell, at least find a way to erase your baptism. Woe to you if you take the Holy Name of Jesus Christ and the sacred character of the Christian engraved upon your soul into hell! Your chastisement will be all the greater. So do what I advise you to do: if you do not want to convert, go this very day and ask your pastor to erase your name from the baptismal register, so that there may not remain any remembrance of your ever having been a Christian; implore your Guardian Angel to erase from his book of graces the inspirations and aids he has given you on orders from God, for woe to you if he recalls them! Tell Our Lord to take back His faith, His baptism, His sacraments.

You are horror-struck at such a thought? Well then, cast yourself at the feet of Jesus Christ and say to Him, with tearful eyes and contrite heart: "Lord, I confess that up till now I have not lived as a Christian. I am not worthy to be numbered among Your elect. I recognize that I deserve to be damned; but Your mercy is great and, full of confidence in Your grace, I say to You that I want to save my soul, even if I have to sacrifice my fortune, my honor, my very life, as long as I am saved. If I have been unfaithful up to now, I repent, I deplore, I detest my infidelity, I ask You humbly to forgive me for it. Forgive me, good Jesus, and strengthen me also, that I may be saved. I ask You not for wealth, honor or prosperity; I ask you for one thing only, to save my soul."

And You, O Jesus! What do You say? O Good Shepherd, see the stray sheep who returns to You; embrace this repentant sinner, bless his sighs and tears, or rather bless these people who are so well disposed and who want nothing but their salvation. Brothers, at the feet of Our Lord, let us protest that we want to save our soul, cost what it may. Let us all say to Him with tearful eyes, "Good Jesus, I want to save my soul," O blessed tears, O blessed sighs!


Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today. So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is: Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved; and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be. And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well. As for the rest, compare these two opinions: the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned; the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved. Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned, but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved. If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.

Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion. He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved, but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved. If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.

What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved? Saint Peter says to us, "Strive by good works to make your election sure." When Saint Thomas Aquinas's sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, "You will be saved if you want to be." I say the same thing to you, and here is proof of my declaration. No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin: that is of faith. And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to: that is an undeniable theological proposition. Therefore, no one goes to hell unless he wants to; the consequence is obvious. Does that not suffice to comfort you? Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved. Why torment yourself so? For it is certain that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell, and that to commit mortal sin you must want to, and that consequently no one goes to hell unless he wants to. That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth; may God give you to understand it, and may He bless you. Amen.  (Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, The Little Numbr of Those Who Are Saved.)

Contrary to what was taught by both Hans Urs von Balthasar and Joseph Alois Ratzinger/Benedict XVI—and contrary to what is believed by the blubbering gasbag of a heretic named Jorge Mario Bergoglio, hell is not empty. Indeed, it is quite full of unrepentant souls who are being tormented by the demons for being so stupid as to follow their temptations by offending God time and time again by falling into Mortal Sins.

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, though, has said many different things about hell and even about its existence. This is what he said on one occasion in 2015 at the Casa Santa Marta:

Continuing his reflections on the end of the world, the Pope’s homily focused on the day’s reading from the Book of Revelation that describes how the angel seizes the serpent, chains it up and throws it into the abyss which is then locked and sealed. He said the serpent or devil is thrown into the abyss “so that it would no longer lead the nations astray” because it is the seducer. 

“He is a liar and what’s more is the father of lies, he generates lies and is a trickster. He makes you believe that if you eat this apple you will be like a God. He sells it to you like this and you buy it and in the end he tricks you, deceives you and ruins your life. ‘But father, what can we do to avoid being deceived by the devil?’ Jesus teaches us: never converse with the devil. One does not converse with him. What did Jesus do with the devil?  He chased him away, he asked his name but did not hold a dialogue with him.” 

Pope Francis went on to explain how when Jesus was in the wilderness he defended himself when replying to the devil by using the Word of God and the Word of the Bible. Therefore, he said, we must never converse with this liar and trickster who seeks our ruin and who for this reason will be thrown into the abyss. 

The Pope noted that the reading from Revelation describes how the Lord will judge the great and the lowly “according to their deeds” with the damned being thrown into the pool of fire and he said this is the “second death.”  

Eternal damnation is not a torture chamber. That’s a description of this second death: it is a death. And those who will not be received in the Kingdom of God, it's because they have not drawn close to the Lord. These are the people who journeyed along their own path, distancing themselves from the Lord and passing in front of the Lord but then choosing to walk away from Him. Eternal damnation is continually distancing oneself from God. It is the worst pain, an unsatisfied heart, a heart that was created to find God but which, out of arrogance and self-confidence, distances itself from God.”  

Pope Francis said distancing oneself from God who gives happiness and who loves us so much is the “fire” and the road to eternal damnation. Noting how the final image in the reading from Revelation ends with a vision of hope the Pope concluded his homily by saying if we open up our hearts with humility we too will have joy and salvation and will be forgiven by Jesus. 

“Hope is what opens our hearts to the encounter with Jesus. This is what awaits us: the encounter with Jesus. It’s beautiful, very beautiful. And He asks us only to be humble and say ‘Lord.’ It’s enough to say that word and He will do the rest.” (Eternal Damnation Is Not A Torture Chamber.)

"Pope Francis" may or may not realize this, but he is an agent of the one he rightly calls a trickster, namely, the devil. 

While Bergoglio was correct to have stated the that the principal punishment suffered by those eternally damned is the loss of God, he did not explain this as the eternal loss of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity?  

Moreover, he did not even refer to the place of eternal damnation, hell, and he also referred to an "encounter with Jesus" at the end of one's life, not the Particular Judgment rendered by the Divine Judge Himself, Christ the King. It should also be noted, of course, that to gain Heaven one must be in a state of Sanctifying Grace as a member of the Catholic Church who believes in everything that she teaches.

Bergoglio's belief, which contradicted the statement about the annihilation of souls that Eugenio Scalfari had attributed to him one of Scalfari’s reconstructed from memory interviews published in La Repubblica, that the only thing one has to do is to open his "heart to the encounter with Jesus" and to be "humble and say "Lord" is heretical as this is precisely what Martin Luther himself professed. 

Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ Himself told us that not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" will be saved: 

Not every one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. [22]Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name? [23] And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. [24] Every one therefore that heareth these my words, and doth them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, [25] And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.

[26] And every one that heareth these my words, and doth them not, shall be like a foolish man that built his house upon the sand, [27] And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. [28] And it came to pass when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine. [29] For he was teaching them as one having power, and not as the scribes and Pharisees. (Matthew 7: 21-29.)

Thus it is that Bergoglio's recitation of Luther's heresy of "justification by faith alone" was at odds with the very words of Our Lord Himself.

Now that this has been established, though, I would like to point out the fact that the eighty-seven year-old apostate might be suffering from a case of vascular dementia as he seems to have forgotten that he said in Paragraph 297 of Amoris Laetitia, March 19, 2016, that "No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel":

297. It is a matter of reaching out to everyone, of needing to help each person find his or her proper way of participating in the ecclesial community and thus to experience being touched by an “unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous” mercy. No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel! Here I am not speaking only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves. Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion. Yet even for that person there can be some way of taking part in the life of community, whether in social service, prayer meetings or another way that his or her own initiative, together with the discernment of the parish priest, may suggest. As for the way of dealing with different “irregular” situations, the Synod Fathers reached a general consensus, which I support: “In considering a pastoral approach towards people who have contracted a civil marriage, who are divorced and remarried, or simply living together, the Church has the responsibility of helping them understand the divine pedagogy of grace in their lives and offering them assistance so they can reach the fullness of God’s plan for them”,328 something which is always possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Amoris Laetita, March 19, 2016.)

Well, which is it?

Which is it?

The souls of the bad are "annihilated" or that "no one can be condemned for ever"?

If no one can be condemned forever, how can there be eternal damnation?

If the souls of the damned are not tortured for all eternity in hell, how does one reconcile the clear teaching of the Catholic Church stating that the souls of the damned suffer hellfire and all manner of other unspeakable torments in addition to the loss of the Beatific Vision forever?

Here is a sampling of that teaching:

And finally the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, incarnate by the whole Trinity in common, conceived of Mary ever Virgin with the Holy Spirit cooperating, made true man, formed out a rational soul and human flesh, One Person in two natures, clearly pointed out the way of life. And although He according to divinity is immortal and impassible, the very same according to humanity was made passible and mortal, who, for the salvation of the human race, having suffered on the wood of the Cross and died, descended into hell, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. But He descended in soul and He arose in the flesh, and He ascended equally in both, to come at the end of time, to judge the living and the dead, and to render to each according to their works, to the wicked as well as to the elect, all of who will rise with their bodies that they now bear, that they may receive according to their works, whether these works have been good or evil, the latter everlasting punishment with the devil and the former everlasting glory with Christ. (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, Decree Against the Albigensians, oachim, Waldensians, Chapter 1, The Catholic Faith: Definition Against the Albigensians and Other Heretics, isssued in 1215. As found in Henry Denzinger, Enchirdion Symbolorum, thirteenth edition, translated into English by Roy Deferrari and published in 1955 as The Sources of Catholic Dogma–referred to as “Denziger,” by B. Herder Book Company of St. Louis, Missouri, and London, England, No. 429, p. 169.)

24. Moreover, if anyone without repentance dies in mortal sin, without a doubt he is tortured forever by the flames of eternal hell.—25. But the souls of children after the cleansing of baptism, and of adults also the who depart in charity, and who are bound neither by sin nor unto any satisfaction for sin itself, at once pass quickly to their eternal fatherland. (Pope Innocent IV, Council of Lyons I, “Sub Catholicae,” March 6, 1254. As found in Henry Denzinger, Enchirdion Symbolorum, thirteenth edition, translated into English by Roy Deferrari and published in 1955 as The Sources of Catholic Dogma–referred to as “Denziger,” by B. Herder Book Company of St. Louis, Missouri, and London, England, No. 457, p. 181.)

It firmly believes, professes, and proclaims that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life, but will depart “into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” [Matt. 25:41], unless before the end of life the same have been added to the flock; and that the unity of the ecclesiastical body is so strong that only to those remaining in it are the sacraments of the Church of benefit for salvation, and do fastings, almsgiving, and other functions of piety and exercises of Christian service produce eternal reward, and that no one, whatever almsgiving he has practiced, even if he has shed blood for the name of Christ, can be saved, unless he has remained in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church. (Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino, Council of Florence, February 4, 1442.)

As we know, of course, doctrine does not matter to Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who is a complete creature of every Modernist shibboleth imaginable. He has used his time these past ten years to give his own “papal imprimatur” to the heretical blather that he has been spreading throughout his career as a lay Jesuit revolutionary and that some of us have heard with our own ears from his revolutionary Jesuit comrades during our time captive to the false belief that the counterfeit church of conciliarism is the Catholic Church.

Did Jorge Mario Bergoglio tell Eugenio Scalfari in 2015 and again in 2018 that the souls of the “bad” disappear?

Well, nothing was done contemporaneously to put into question Scalfari’s reconstruction of their “conversation” on the subject of the fate of “bad” souls, and nothing has been done in the past nine years since Bergoglio’s first of two denials about the existence of hell were made as recounted by atheist Eugenio Scalfari. The conciliar Vatican did nothing in 2018 to deny the veracity of the following statement Scalfari attributed to “Pope Francis”:

Scalfari: Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will at some point disappear and God will always create other species from his creative seed. You have never spoken to me of souls who have died in sin and go to hell to suffer for it forever. Instead, you have spoken to me of good souls who are admitted to the contemplation of God. But the bad souls? Where are they punished?

Pope Francis: “They are not punished, those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and join the ranks of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. Hell does not exist; the disappearance of sinful souls exists.” (The World Reacts to the latest Scalfari "conversation" with Bergoglio.)

Well, did or didn’t he say these things?

I think that the case is pretty clear that he said what Scalfari published and that it is what he really believes.

Whatever the case may be, though, the conciliar Vatican’s statement about Scalfari’s published “reconstruction” of his conversation with “Pope Francis” did not directly deny the comments, something that the “pope” himself could have done if he had chosen to do so:

The Holy Father recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without, however, granting him an interview. What is reported by the author in today’s article is the fruit of his reconstruction, in which the precise words uttered by the Pope are not cited. No quotations in the aforementioned article, then, should be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father. (Here is How the Vatican is Spinnnnning Toooooonight--apologies to the late George Hamilton Combs. New Yorkers who listened to WOR-AM radio in the 1960s will get this one. Most others will not. One will find the name of the aforementioned late liberal commentator and one-time Missouri congressman in these radio listings from 1970: New York Radio Listings, July 8, 1970.)

That’s the best that the then spinmeister in the Vatican, Opus Dei’s own Greg Burke, could do?

There was no flat-out denial that Bergoglio does not believe in annihilationism, which, perhaps quite by the way, is a heretical belief held by, among other others, such notorious sects as the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses (quick Henny Youngman line: “Somebody asked me if I was a Jehovah’s Witness. I told him that I didn’t even the see the accident”), and this is because the false “pontiff” is known to use his behind-the-scenes encounters with various personages, including the likes of Eugenio Scalfari, to get his true beliefs “out there” without having those nasty things known as quotation marks around his words. The process he chooses gives him what the late Ronald Ziegler, who was the White House Press Secretary under President Richard Milhous Nixon, from January 20, 1969, to August 9, 2004, called “plausible deniability.”

Look, Bergoglio knows exactly what he is doing.

Indeed, we have been eyewitnesses to over one hundred thirty months of a well-planned strategy to “go to the peripheries” as Bergoglio has used various phone calls, letters and private audiences to give support and encouragement to unrepentant sinners, several of whom had been given admonitions by right-thinking presbyters to reform their lives and to confess their sins.

Lover of all that is opposed to Catholic Faith,  Worship, and Morals that he is, Jorge Mario Bergoglio takes as much glee in doing this as he did from sending his inquisitors to persecute believing Catholics in the conciliar structures such as the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Immaculate,” by suppressing the staging of the modernized version of the Immemorial Mass of Tradition by the issuance of Traditiones Custodes, July 16, 2021, and by the issuance of Fiducia Supplicans, December  18, 2023, “Pope Francis” just loves to “make a mess” and upset the conciliar apple cart and thus to make life difficult for the “Pharisees” within his ranks to mount any kind of defense, no matter how compromised or corrupted by conciliarism, of the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law.                                                     

The counterfeit church of conciliarism is not the Catholic Church.

We must never compromise on any article of the Catholic Faith, including the precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law. We must bear our crosses, no matter whether they be spiritual or bodily (or both!), as befits redeemed creatures who understanding that we must suffer bravely as the sons and daughters of Holy Mother Church to make reparation for our own sins as well as for those of the whole world. This is time of chastisement, which gives us plenty of opportunities to make reparation for our sins, especially when we consider that the season of Septuagesima starts in but one week from today, that is, on Sunday, January 28, 2024 (which is also the Commemoration of Saint Peter Nolasco and of the Second Feast of Saint Agnes), in preparation for the season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2024 (the Feast of Saint Valentine is commemorated this year after the orations for Ash Wednesday).

We must have the courage of Saint Agnes, whose feast we commemorate today, Sunday, January 21, 2024, the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, to die for the Holy Faith if called upon to do so, and to be willing to die the death of white martyrdom by refusing to concede anything to falsehood, whether on the level of supernatural faith or the truths governing the existence of our physical bodies, at any time for any reason whatsoever:

This is a virgin's birthday; let us then follow the example of her chastity. It is a Martyr's birthday; let us then offer sacrifices. It is the birthday of the holy Agnes; let men then be filled with wonder, little ones with hope, married women with awe, and the unmarried with emulation. But how shall I set forth the glory of her whose very name is an utterance of praise? It seemeth to me that this being, holy beyond her years, and strong beyond human nature, received the name of Agnes, not as an earthly designation, but as a revelation from God of what she was to be. For this name Agnes is from the Greek, and being interpreted, signifieth Pure. So that this saintly maiden is known by the very title of Chastity and when I have added thereto the word Martyr, I have said enough. She needeth not the praise which we could utter, but do not. None is more praiseworthy than she for whose praise all mouths are fitted. As many as name her, so many praise her, by the noble title of martyr.

We learn by tradition that this holy martyr testified in the thirteenth year of her age. We will pass by the foul cruelty which did not spare her tender years, to contemplate the great power of her faith, whereby she overcame the weakness of childhood, and witnessed a good confession. Her little body was hardly big enough to give play to the instruments of their cruelty, but if they could scarce sheathe their swords in her slight frame, they found in her that which laughed the power of the sword to scorn. She had no fear when she found herself grasped by the bloody hands of the executioners. She was unmoved when they dragged her with clanging chains. Hardly entered on life, she stood fully prepared to die. She quailed not when the weapons of the angry soldiery were pointed at her breast. If they forced her against her will to approach the altars of devils, she could stretch forth her hands to Christ amid the very flames which consumed the idolatrous offerings, and mark on the heathen shrine the victorious Cross of the Lord. She was ready to submit her neck and hands to the iron shackles, but they were too big to clasp her slender limbs. Behold a strange martyr! She is not grown of stature to fight the battle, but she is ripe for the triumph; too weak to run in the race, and yet clearly entitled to the prize; unable from her age to be aught but a learner, she is found a teacher.

She went to the place of execution a virgin, with more willing and joyful footsteps than she would have gone with to the nuptial chamber as a bride. The spectators were all in tears, and she alone did not weep. They beheld her with wonder, laying down that life of which she had hardly begun to taste the sweets, as freely as though she had drained it to the dregs and was weary of its burden. All men were amazed when they saw her whose years had not made her her own mistress, arise as a witness for the Deity. Consider how many threats her murderer used to excite her fears, how many arguments to shake her resolution, how many promises to bribe her to accept his offers of marriage. But she answered him It is an insult to Him Whom I have wedded to expect me to comply. He That first chose me, His will I be. Headsman, why waitest thou? Perish the body which draweth the admiration of eyes from which I would turn away. She stood, prayed, and then bent her neck for the stroke. Now mightest thou have seen the murderer trembling as though he himself were the criminal, the executioner's hand shake, and the faces of them that stood by turn white at the sight of her position, and all the while herself remain without fear. This one victim brought God a double offering, that of her purity, and that of her faith. She preserved virginity and achieved martyrdom. (The Life and Martyrdom of Saint Agnes as found in The Divine Office: Matins, January 21.)

Our own faith must be as pure and as strong as that of Saint Agnes, remembering these words that Our Lord spoke as recorded in the Gospel according to Saint Matthew:

[21] The brother also shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the son: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and shall put them to death. [22] And you shall be hated by all men for my name' s sake: but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. [23] And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come. [24] The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. [25] It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household?

[26] Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. [27] That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. [28] And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell. [29] Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father. [30] But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

[31] Fear not therefore: better are you than many sparrows. [32] Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. [33] But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. [34] Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. [35] For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

[36] And a man' s enemies shall be they of his own household. [37] He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. [38] And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. [39] He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. [40] He that receiveth you, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. (Matthew 10: 21-40.)

Adhere to the truths of the Catholic Faith.

Be prepared to suffer for the truths of the Holy Faith, making sure to say a perfect Act of Contrition in times of spiritual and bodily danger, praying to Our Lady, especially by means of her Most Holy Rosary also for the conversion of all those in the world—whether in the government or in counterfeit church of conciliarism—to the true Faith, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order, something that Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his fellow spiritual robber barons do not accept, which is why they celebrate all falsehood, both supernatural and natural, thus leading souls into Mortal Sins and into becoming accomplices in their own damnation.

Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Agnes, pray for us.


Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

Sermons for Every Sunday of the Year

Sermon Fifty: The Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost

On the eternity of hell

"And his Lord, being angry, delivered him to the torture until he paid all the debt." MATT, xviii. 34.

IN this day’s gospel we find that a certain servant, having badly administered the affairs of his master, was found to owe him a debt of ten thousand talents. The master demanded payment; but the servant falling down said: " Have patience and I will pay thee all."  The master took pity on him, and forgave the entire debt. One of his fellow-servants who owed him a hundred pence, besought him to have patience, and promised to pay him the last farthing; but the wicked servant cast him into prison. Hearing of this act of cruelty to his fellow-servant, the master sent for him, and said to him: “Wicked servant, I have forgiven thee ten thousand talents, and for a debt of a hundred pence thou hast refused to show compassion to thy fellow-servant. He then delivered him to the tortures till he paid all the debt. Behold, dearly beloved brethren, in these last words, a description of the sentence of the eternal death which is prepared for sinners. By dying in sin, they die debtors to God for all their iniquities; and being unable to make any satisfaction in the other life for their past sins, they remain for ever debtors to the divine justice, and must suffer for eternity in hell. Of this miserable eternity I will speak to-day; listen to me with attention.

1. The thought of eternity is a great thought: so it was called by St. Augustine: Macjna cogitatio. According to the holy doctor, God has made us Christians, and instructed us in the maxims of faith, that we may think of eternity. "We are Christians that we may always think of the world to come." This thought has driven from the world so many of the nobles of the earth, has made them renounce all their riches, and shut themselves up in the cloister, there to live in poverty and penance. This thought has sent so many young men into caves and deserts, and has animated so many martyrs to embrace torments and death, in order to save their souls for eternity. " For," exclaims St. Paul, " we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come." (Heb. xiii. 14.) This earth, dearly beloved Christians, is not our country; it is for us a place of passage, through which we must soon pass to the house of eternity. "Man shall go into the house of his eternity." (Eccl. xii. 5.) In this eternity the house of the just, which is a palace of delights, is very different from the house of sinners, which is a dungeon of torments. Into one of these two houses each of us must certainly go.  "In hanc vel illam seternitatem," says St. Ambrose, "cadam necesse est.; (S. Amb., in Ps. cxviii.) " Into this or that eternity I must fall."

2. And where the soul shall first go, there she shall remain for ever. "If the tree fall to the south or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall there shall it lie." (Eccl. xi. 3.) On what side does a tree fall when it is cut down ? It falls on the side to which it inclines. On what side, brethren, will you fall, when death shall cut down the tree of your life ? You will fall on the side to which you incline. If you shall be found inclining to the south that is, in favour with God you shall be for ever happy; but if you i- h ill fall to the north, you must be for ever miserable. There is no middle place: you must be for ever happy in heaven, or overwhelmed with despair in hell. We must all die, says St. Bernard or some other author (de Quat. Noviss.), but we know not which of the two eternities shall be our lot after death. "Necessi morem, post haec autem dubia ceternitatis."

3. This uncertainty about his lot for eternity was the constant subject of the thoughts of David: it deprived his eyes of sleep, and kept him always in terror. "My eyes prevented the watches: I was troubled, and I spoke not: I thought upon the days of old, and I had in my mind the eternal years." (Ps. Ixxvi. 5, 6.) What, says St. Cyprian, has encouraged the saints to lead a life, which, on account of their continual austerities, was an uninterrupted martyrdom? It was, he answers, the thought of eternity that inspired them with courage to submit to such unceasing rigours. A certain monk shut himself in a cave, and did nothing else than constantly exclaim:" eternity! eternity!" The famous sinner converted by the Abbot Paphnutius, kept eternity always before her eyes, and was accustomed to say: "Who can assure me of a happy eternity, and that I will not fall into a miserable eternity." The same uncertainty kept St. Andrew Avellino in continual terrors and tears till his last breath. Hence he used to ask every one he met, "What do you say? shall I be saved or damned for eternity?"

4. O! that we, too, had eternity always before our eye! We certainly should not be so much attached to the world.  "Quisquis in aeternitatis disiderio figitur, nee prosperitate attollitur, nee adversitate quassatur: et dum nihil habet in mundo quod appetat, nihil est quod de mundo pertimescat." He who fixes his thoughts on eternity, is not elated by prosperity nor dejected by adversity; because, having nothing to desire in this world, he has nothing to fear: he desires only a happy eternity, and fears only a miserable eternity. A certain lady, who was greatly attached to the world, went one day to confession to Father M. D Avila. He bid her go home, and reflect on these two words always and never. She obeyed, took away her affections from the world, and consecrated them to God. St. Augustine says that the man who thinks on eternity, and is not converted to God, either has no faith, or has lost his reason: Aeternitatis! qui te cogitat, neponitet, aut certo fidem non habet, aut si habet, cor non habet." (In soliloq. eternity! he who thinks on thee, and does not repent, has certainly no faith, or has lost his heart. Hence St. Chrysostom relates, that the pagans upbraided the Christians with being liars or fools: liars, if they said they believed what they did not believe; fools, if they believed in eternity and committed sin. "Exprobabant gentiles aut mendaces, aut stultos esse Christianos; mendaces si non crederent quod credere dicebant; stultos si credebant et peccabant."

5. Woe to sinners, says St. Cesarius of Aries; they enter into eternity without having known it; hut their woes shall be doubled when they shall have entered into eternity, and shall never be able to leave. "Yae peccatoribus, ineognitam ingrediuntur." To those who enter hell, the door opens for their admission, but never opens for their departure. "I have the keys of death and of hell." (Apoc. i. 18.) God himself keeps the keys of hell, to show us that whosoever enters has no hope of ever escaping from it. St. John Chrysostom writes, that the condemnation of the reprobate is engraved on the pillar of eternity, so that it never shall be revoked. In hell there is no calendar; there the years are not counted. St. Antonine says, that if a damned soul heard that she was to be released from hell after so many millions of years as there are drops of water in the sea, or grains of sand in the earth, she would feel a greater joy than a criminal condemned to death would experience at hearing that he was reprieved, and was to be made the monarch of the whole world! But, no! as many millions of years shall pass away as there are drops of water in the ocean, or grains of dust in the earth, and the hell of the damned shall be at its commencement. All these millions of years shall be multiplied an infinite number of times, and hell will begin again. But of what use is it, says St. Hilary, to count years in eternity? Where you expect the end, there it commences. "Ubi putas finem invenire, ibi incipit." And St. Augustine says, "that things which have an end cannot be compared with eternity." (In Ps. xxxvi.) Each of the damned would be content to make this compact with God Lord, increase my torments as much as thou pleasest; assign a term for them as distant as thou pleasest; provided thou fix a time at which they shall cease, I am satisfied. But, no! this time shall never arrive. “My end," the damned shall say, "is perished." (Lamen. iii. 18.) Then, is there no end to the torments of the damned? No! the trumpet of divine justice sounds in the caverns of hell, and continually reminds the reprobate that their hell shall be eternal, and shall never have an end.

6. If hell were not eternal, it would not be so frightful a chastisement. Thomas a Kempis says, that “everything which passes with time is trifling and short." Any pain which has an end is not very appalling. The man who labours under an imposthume or a cancer, must submit to the knife or the cautery: the pain is severe; but because it is soon over it can be borne. But a tooth-ache which lasts for three months without interruption is insupportable. Were a person obliged to lie in the same posture for six months on a soft bed, or even to hear the same music, or the same comedy, night and day for one year, he would fall into melancholy and despondency. Poor blind sinners! When threatened with hell they say: "If I go there I must have patience." But they shall not say so when they will have entered that region of woes, where they must suffer, not by listening to the same music or the same comedy, nor by lying in the same posture, or by tooth -ache, but by enduring all torments and all evils. “I will heap evils upon them." (Deut. xxxiii. 23.) And all these torments shall never end.

7. They shall never end, and shall never be diminished in the smallest degree. The damned must for ever suffer the same fire, the same privation of God, the same sad ness, the same despair. Yes, says St. Cyprian, in eternity there is no change, because the decree is immutable. This thought shall immensely increase their sufferings, by making them feel beforehand, and at each moment, all that they shall have to suffer for eternity. In this description of the happiness of the saints, and the misery of the reprobate, the Prophet Daniel says: "They shall wake some unto life everlasting, and some unto reproach to see it always." (Dan. xii. 2.) They shall always see their unhappy eternity. Ut videant semper. Thus eternity tortures each of the damned not only by his present pains, but with all his future sufferings, which are eternal.

8. These are not opinions controverted among theologians; they are dogmas of faith clearly revealed in the sacred Scriptures. "Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire." (Matt. xxv. 41.) Some will say: The fire, but not the punishment of the damned is ever lasting. Such the language of the incredulous, but it is folly. For what other purpose would God make this fire eternal, than to chastise the reprobate, who are immortal? But, to take away every shadow of doubt, the Scriptures, in many other places, say, that not only the fire, but the punishment, of the damned is eternal. "And these, says Jesus Christ,” shall go into ever lasting punishment." (Matt. xxv. 46.) Again we read in St. Mark, “Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished." (ix. 43.) St. John says: "And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever." (Apoc. xvi. 11.) "Who," says St. Paul, "shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction." (2 Thess. i. 9.)

9. Another infidel will ask: How can God justly punish with eternal torments a sin that lasts but a moment? I answer, that the grievousness of a crime is measured not by its duration, but by the enormity of its malice. The malice of mortal sin is, as St. Thomas says, infinite. (1, 2, q. 87, art. 4.) Hence, the damned deserve infinite punishment; and, because a creature is not capable of suffering pains infinite in point of intensity, God, as the holy doctor says, renders the punishment of the damned infinite in extension by making it eternal. Moreover, it is just, that as long as the sinner remains in his sin, the punishment which he deserves should continue. And, therefore, as the virtue of the saints is rewarded in Heaven, because it lasts for ever, so also the guilt of the damned in Hell, because it is everlasting, shall be chastised with everlasting torments. "Quia non recipit causse remedium," says Eusebius Emissenus, "carebit fine supplicium." The cause of their perverse will continues: therefore, their chastisement will never have an end. The damned are so obstinate in their sins, that even if God offered pardon, their hatred for him would make them refuse it. The Prophet Jeremias, speaking in the name of the reprobate, says: Why is my sorrow become perpetual and my wound desperate, so as to refuse to be healed?" (Jer. xv. 18.) My wound, they say, is incurable, because I do not wish it to be healed. Just how can God heal the wound of their perverse will, when they would refuse the remedy, were it offered to them? Hence, the punishment of the reprobate is called a sword, a vengeance which is irrevocable. "I, the Lord, have drawn my sword out of its sheath, not to be turned back." (Ezech. xxi. 5.)

10. Death, which is so terrible in this life, is desired in hell by the damned; but they never shall find it. "And in these days men shall seek death, and shall not find it: and they shall desire to die, and death shall fly from them." (Apoc. xi. 6.) They would wish, as a remedy for their eternal ruin, to be exterminated and destroyed. But "there is no poison of destruction in them." (Wis. i. 14.) If a man, condemned to die, be not deprived of life by the first stroke of the axe, his torture moves the people to pity. Miserable damned souls! They live in continual death in the midst of the pains of hell: excites in them all the agony of death, but does not give them a remedy by taking away life. “Prima mors," says St. Augustine, "animam nolentem pellit de corpore, secunda mors nolentem tenet in corpore.” The first death expels from the body the soul of a sinner who is unwilling to die: but the second death that is, eternal death retains in the body a soul that wishes to die. "They are laid in hell like sheep; death shall feed upon them." (Ps. xlviii. 15.) In feeding, sheep eat the blades of grass, but leave the root untouched; hence the grass dies not, but grows up again. It is thus that death treats the damned; it torments them with pain, but spares their life, which may be called the root of suffering.

11. But, if these miserable souls have no chance of release from hell, perhaps they can at least deceive or flatter themselves with the hope, that God may one day be moved to pity, and free them from their torments? No : in hell there is no delusion, no flattery, no perhaps; the damned are as certain as they are of God’s existence that their hell shall have no end. "Thou thoughtest unjustly that I shall be like to thee; but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face." (Ps. xlix. 21.) They shall for ever see before their eyes their sins and the sentence of their eternal condemnation. "And I will set before thy face."

12. Let us conclude. Thus, most beloved brethren, the affair of our eternal salvation should be the sole object of all our concerns. "The business for which we struggle, says St. Eucharius, "is eternity." There is question of eternity: there is question whether we will be saved, and be for ever happy in a city of delights, or be damned, and confined for eternity in a pit of fire. This is not an affair of little importance; it is of the utmost and of eternal importance to us. When Thomas More was condemned to death by Henry the Eighth, his wife Louisa went to him for the purpose of tempting him to obey the royal command. Tell me, Lousia, replied the holy man, how many years can I, who am now so old, expect to live? You might, said she, live for twenty years. O foolish woman! he exclaimed, do you want me to condemn my soul to an eternity of torments for twenty years of life ?

13. Good Christians believe in the existence of hell, and commit sin! Dearly beloved brethren, let not us also be fools, like so many who are now weeping in hell. Miserable beings! What benefit do they now derive from all the pleasures which they enjoyed in this life? Speaking of the rich and of the poor, St. John Chrysostom said: "unhappy felicity, which has drawn the rich into eternal infelicity! O happy infelicity, which has brought the poor to the felicity of eternity! "The saints have buried themselves alive in this life, that after death they may not find themselves buried in hell for all eternity. If eternity were a doubtful matter, we ought even then make every effort in our power to escape an eternity of torments; but no, it is not a matter of doubt; it is a truth of faith, that after this life each of us must go into eternity, to be for ever in glory or for ever in despair. St. Teresa says, that it is through a want of faith that so many Christians are lost. As often as we say the words of the Creed, life everlasting, let us enliven our faith, and remember that there is another life, which never end; and let us adopt all the means necessary to secure a happy eternity. Let us do all, and give up all; if necessary, let us leave the world, in order to secure eternal happiness. When eternity is at stake no security can be too great. "Nulla nimia securitas," says St. Bernard, "ubi periclitatur Eeternitas."