Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Little FB Apologetics?

Am I missing her point?

  • Is she, pardon the expression and no pun intended, hell-bent on only believing in a hell with a physical address? Where is that in Scripture?
  • And, by golly, if Pope John Paul doesn't teach this exactly like she heard from her Sunday school teacher then he is a false prophet???
  • Does she not see that she is re-phrasing the Pope's words and making them SO ridiculously trite? "a state of mind"
  • and inaccurate: "there is no hell"
  • How could someone deem separation from God's love a "state of mind?"

FB friend's false statement
. . . . Even Pope John Paul II stated in a past interview that there is no hell, which is a direct contradiction to what scripture tells us.

my response . . . . "Pope John Paul II stated in a past interview that there is no hell."
I would be interested to know where you found this quote. I believe it is incorrect. Pope John Paul II would never say that because it is in direct contradiction to scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

From the CCC: Scripture calls the abode of the dead . . . ."hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek"
Also from the CCC: Part 1, Section 2, Chapter 3, Article 12, SubSection 4

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.

I have noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions about the Catholic Church. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen says, "There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing."

FB friend's response: You can actually do a search for it online and find it in many associated press articles. I heard about it on a TBN show, the Jack Van Impe show recently and looked it up online to confirm. Found several links that confirmed what it stated. He stated there was no hell and that hell was a state of mind we are in when we turn away from God. He stated absence from God was our hell. I was completely shocked about it too.
I encourage you to really do your research on the Catholic religion. I was raised Catholic in my younger years and left that faith. After finding out about their acceptance of pagan holidays and rituals, I was really shocked. If you go to or .org, you can start receiving free magazines with great topics. One of those is entitled, Holidays or Holy Days. Really interesting reading.

my response: I did some research and learned that you may be referring to three controversial Wednesday Audiences with Pope John Paul II. He pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist.
St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him.
"Incorporeal things are not in place after a manner known and familiar to us, in which way we say that bodies are properly in place; but they are in place after a manner befitting spiritual substances, a manner that cannot be fully manifest to us." [St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, Supplement, Q69, a1, reply 1]

FB friend comment: One more article addressing Pope John Paul II's deception.

She followed with a link to a 1999 CBS - San Fransisco article.

I responded:
A CBS (San Fransisco) article? Not a very reliable source.
Pope John Paul II's words are paraphrased. There is only one quote that I can find that they are using and it is clearly out of context given the fullness of truth in Roman Catholic belief (which comes from Scripture and is discussed in detail in the CCC).
The existence of hell is not up for personal interpretation for us Catholics. The location may not be something you can mapquest but it exists.

Then I re- read the silly article because it WAS very misleading. I wanted to isolate that "one quote" I thought was in there . . . .
That lead to this comment:
Correction: the "one quote" comes from a man who was interviewed about what the Pope supposedly said.
So he was hearing a newspaper reporter's second hand account and reacting to it.
This story is sensationalized and very misleading. That sells papers.
Better to stick to Encyclicals when determining what a Pope is teaching.

OK, ya'll I am adding one more comment to the FB discussion and recording it here. Then I am shaking the dust from my sandals but I will continue to pray. . . . .

FB friend comment: One article from Pope John Paul II in 99 stating that hell is not a place, but a state of mind. This is in direct contradiction to scripture. The Bible warns that even the church elect will be deceived. She includes the EWTN link.

my response:
He is not saying it is a "state of mind."

Read again . .. .
"This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved"

It is worse than a human place.

Part of the St. Thomas Aquinas quote explains ;
". . . . . place after a manner befitting spiritual substances, a manner that cannot be fully manifest to us."

WORSE than a place we can understand with these human brains (" that cannot be fully manifest to us")


For further reference:
Papel Encyclicals Online:


~Joseph the Worker said...

Footnote at the bottom of the section on Hell at EWTN says specifically: "*[Note: The original Italian says, "(Più che) More than a place, hell indicates..." This suggests correctly that although hell is not essentially "a place," rather the definitive loss of God, confinement is included. Thus, after the general resurrection the bodies of the damned, being bo"

Soutenus said...

And that is how I should have responded.
Something more along the lines of . . . "Hell is more than a place not to be described as 'a state of mind.' That confines it to something that we, with our human brains, can fully comprehend - and with that description comes the supposition that it is under our control."

She had the link and was still unwavering in her prejudices against The Church.

I am a terrible apologist.

~Joseph the Worker said...

No, I beg to disagree. You did a wonderful job. If you think you are a bad apologist, you should hear some of the discussions I've been in! Someone called me a "blue collar apologist" once, indicating that I had no real reasoning behind what I was saying but was convinced and convinced others that I was right. :)

Alexandra said...

It looks like she was "shocked" a lot. Are you shocked? ;) You did a great job at redirecting the person to the original source rather than a reinterpretation of it; however, I think that the truth is not what she is after.

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