DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     July 29, 1999     vol. 10, no. 141

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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POPE SAYS SINNERS PLACE SELVES IN HELL

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) - Pope John Paul II said at his weekly general audience on Wednesday that hell is not so much a physical place as a rejection of the presence of God and that the condemned choose to enter that condition.

          A week after speaking on the reality of heaven, the Holy Father emphasized that hell is also real. "Hell is not a punishment imposed externally by God, but the condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life," he said. "More than a physical place, hell is the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy."

          "So eternal damnation is not God's work but is actually our own doing," he added. He described hell as "the pain, frustration and emptiness of life without God." He also warned that demons do exist, saying "Christian faith teaches us that there are creatures who have already given a definitive 'no' to God. These are the spirits which rebelled against God and whom we call demons."

          The Holy Father cautioned Christians against dwelling on hell. "The reality of hell should not ... be a cause of anxiety or despair for believers. Rather it is a necessary and healthy reminder that human freedom has to be conformed to the example of Jesus, who always said 'yes' to God, who conquered Satan and who gave us His Spirit so that we too could call God 'Father'."


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July 29, 1999       volume 10, no. 141
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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