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Michael Voris vs. Robert Barron on Hell

January 26, 2011

What kind of God do Catholics worship?

“When you stand in front of the just judge, mercy has come to an end.  Now is the time of justice.”  Michael Voris

“Eternal suffering?  Yeah.  Because it’s this eternal “no” to the love that God is.  Now I think in light of this clarification we can see how all the language of God sending people to hell, God condemning people to hell, because of their mistakes and so on, is problematic.  God doesn’t so much send people there.  People send themselves into this state by their refusal of the divine love.”  Robert Barron

For my own views on the topic, see:  Why I Believe in Hell (and Purgatory too!)


Brett Salkeld is a doctoral student in theology at Regis College in Toronto. He is a father of two (so far) and husband of one.

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59 Comments
  1. Kyle R. Cupp permalink
    January 26, 2011 10:53 pm

    Brett,

    What are your thoughts on the hope for universal salvation?

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 26, 2011 11:21 pm

      Oh dear, that’s a big one. In brief:

      I think we have the duty to hope that all men be saved, but I fully affirm the possibility that someone could finally reject God’s mercy. I don’t think mortal sin is just an antiquated idea. I think we can, to paraphrase Miroslav Volf, innoculate ourselves against mercy by acts of evil.

  2. January 26, 2011 11:09 pm

    As I listened to the Voris talk, I wondered what your objection was, until I got to the part about mercy ending at death. Wow! And he didn’t even seem to be aware of the context of his quote from Matthew on the last judgment; the “nations” were condemned to the everlasting fire precisely because the didn’t show mercy to the least of Christ’s brothers.

    I still don’t know what your objection to Fr. Barron is, who seems to hold open the possibility that no one is actually damned.

  3. brettsalkeld permalink*
    January 26, 2011 11:13 pm

    Yikes,
    I certainly don’t mean to give the impression that I have an objection to Barron. He is one of my favourite theologians.
    The point was to show Voris next to a good theologian to highlight his deficiencies.

    Yeah, the stuff about mercy ending at death is nutty. What on earth is purgatory if not an expression of mercy? “Oh, you haven’t been freed of all the remnants of sin in your life? Look, just have a shower before you jump in the pool and no one’s gonna say a thing.”

    • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
      January 27, 2011 8:34 am

      I wondered when I saw you posted a Voris video with little commentary. I thought: don’t we have standards here? ;-)

      • brettsalkeld permalink*
        January 27, 2011 8:44 am

        If I didn’t have other things to do, commenting on Voris could become an obsession for me. I thought it better to let him comment on himself in this case.

        (Also, I figured I’d end up saying enough in the com boxes.)

        • Kyle R. Cupp permalink
          January 27, 2011 8:59 am

          I like the juxtaposition of the sword image with the “One True Faith” on the background screen. Summarizes Voris nicely.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          January 27, 2011 9:01 am

          Yes, the choice of the sword as his primary Christian symbol says much more than any of my ranting and raving.

          What would St. Francis say? Never mind that other fellow we follow, whatshisname?

        • Bruce in Kansas permalink
          January 27, 2011 2:01 pm

          To be fair, there is that quote by that fellow whatshisname in Matthew 10:34. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword…”

    • January 27, 2011 9:14 am

      Sorry, I didn’t read it closely enough; just clicked on the videos. To anyone half-awake, your meaning was clear.

  4. brettsalkeld permalink*
    January 26, 2011 11:16 pm

    My wife comes from one of the most conservative Catholic homes you’ve ever seen. I don’t know the last time her Dad has been to a vernacular Mass. TAN books on every shelf. And when she overheard this Voris piece while I was watching it, she thought it was a spoof. No joke.

    I’ve noticed around the internet that such an interpretation of him is not uncommon. People think he is an anti-Catholic who is stunting to make us look bad. That says a lot.

  5. January 27, 2011 7:14 am

    Voris does seem (to me) to be in accord with the Christian belief that whatever “choice” a person makes—between God and not-God—is finalized at death. Why should that be so?

    Fr. Barron’s version seems a lot more reasonable, but Voris’s is a lot closer to what I was taught in Catholic school.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 8:57 am

      You might be interested in Karl Rahner’s little book “On the Theology of Death.”

      Essentially it is a matter of definition. Theologically speaking, death marks the end of our immediate relationship with time and thus of our freedom. The Christian understanding has been that death brings one face-to-face with one’s choices. To imagine more choices beyond death seems not to take seriously enough the finality of death and the importance of earthly life. And it imagines afterlife as much the same sort of life as earthly life, eternity as just never-ending time. Rahner says eternity is the fruit of time, not its infinite prolongation.

      The theology of purgatory acknowledges not that we can change our final “no” to God to a “yes,” but that our “yes” has often not worked its way into every aspect of our lives and that God grants us the grace to not spend eternity with that ambiguity. Or, as I argue in my book, the encounter with Christ itself eliminates the possibility of such ambiguity. In the light of Christ it will be clear what our final choice has been and what all of its implications are. The afterlife is the explication of those implications.

      • January 27, 2011 9:17 am

        Of course part of Catholic teaching is that the “fallen angels” have made an irrevocable choice. Yet they didn’t die.

        In the light of Christ it will be clear what our final choice has been and what all of its implications are.

        What kind of choice is it that isn’t clear until after you make it? And what about all the people who don’t get to make a choice (those who die before birth, those who die before the age of reason, those who have had no chance at all to hear about Christianity or any other religion)?

        To be perfectly blunt, it is difficult to have any clear idea as to whether the more “progressive” views of mortal sin, choice, and the afterlife are insightful elucidations of old concepts of salvation or damnation, or whether they are “clarifications” of the kind often made by politicians when they have made a gaffe—attempts to take something unreasonable and rework it so that it becomes more acceptable.

        When many of us reacted in horror at what we were taught in the 1950s—essentially Voris’s views of reward and punishment—we were assured that it was what the Church taught, and if we had doubts, we should just set them aside, because the Church was always right. The problem with Voris isn’t that he is “wrong.” It’s that he’s decades out of date.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          January 27, 2011 9:30 am

          Don’t we all make choices and later find out their real content? Isn’t this life (with all our motivations, fears, self-justifications etc.) often ambiguous? Who among us perfectly understands him or herself?

          As for angels, choice seems a different kind of thing for those not immersed in history.

          As for those with no possibility of choice, I think trusting in the mercy of God is the way to go.

          And we needn’t pretend that the Voris view and the one you got in school was the only one around until Vatican II. Think of Gregory of Nyssa or Bernanos. Even Dante’s view, for all its imagery, was much closer the “progressive” one than Voris’ One True Faith.

        • January 27, 2011 11:04 am

          Don’t we all make choices and later find out their real content?

          Yes, but in life we can say, “If only I had known!”

          Who among us perfectly understands him or herself?

          No one. Which is why something of ultimate importance—a person’s fate for all eternity—should not be based on the things we do that we understand so little of. We see now “through a glass darkly,” but based on that, we are supposed to make an irrevocable choice which will become clear to us only after it becomes irrevocable.

          Also, how this all plays out depends on random events. Suppose a person commits a mortal sin and has only imperfect contrition. If she is hit by a car and killed on her way to confession, she is damned. If she is hit by a car on the way back from confession, she is saved. (Exactly how the concepts of imperfect and perfect contrition work out under Fr. Barron’s explanation about hell is unclear to me, but they clearly have not been abandoned.)

          And we needn’t pretend that the Voris view and the one you got in school was the only one around until Vatican II.

          I am sure there were many views, but the one I got was pretty much the “official” view, and as I said, it is understandable that people believe what they were taught in school. Fr. Barron’s speculations sound a lot to me like the “fundamental option,” which I did indeed hear about back in the old days, but which was officially repudiated by John Paul II in Veritatis Splendor.

          I do think it is an important point, which you shouldn’t dismiss lightly, that what Voris says sounds an awful lot like what people of my generation were taught. And I can’t speak from personal experience, but what I people lamenting all the time is how “poorly catechized” younger people are. So my generation was taught concepts that are out of fashion, and later generations were scarcely taught at all!

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 8:59 am

      Henry (or someone else) might be able to tell us something about the East’s different take on this.

      • digbydolben permalink
        January 27, 2011 11:50 am

        David, I’m a high school teacher, and I certainly hope that my students don’t believe everything they’re “taught in school.” The type of curriculum I’m engaged in teaches children to question EVERYTHING.

        • January 27, 2011 1:19 pm

          digby,

          Unless I have missed something major, it is the nature of the Catholic religion to tell people what the “have to believe.” A Catholic education that departs from that would be wonderful, but how Catholic would it be?

  6. David Cruz-Uribe, SFO permalink*
    January 27, 2011 7:39 am

    I am reminded of two lines, one serious, one humorous.

    Serious: Karl Barth, when asked about the existence of hell, is supposed to have replied (possible paraphrase): “I must affirm as revealed truth the existence of hell, but I must pray unceasingly that hell is empty.”

    Funny: Q: What is the difference between a Unitarian and a Universalist?

    A: A Universalist believes God is too good to damn; a Unitarian believes he is too good to be damned.

  7. dak permalink
    January 27, 2011 7:40 am

    Let’s see: The Voris piece requires that I nod my head and say of course, of course.

    The Barron piece challenges me to think, taking into account the wholistic tradition of our Church and solid theological arguments.

    I’ll go with Barron. (Who is one of my modern favorites as well, so perhaps I’m just biased…nah.)

  8. M.Z. permalink
    January 27, 2011 9:04 am

    Voris has a STB from Franciscan University, one of the greatest institutions of higher learning in real America. He addresses the real issues destroying America.

    Fr Barron has his doctorate from Institut Catholique de Paris, not even an American Institution and worse than that a French one. He has been a guest professor at that catholyc institution, Notre Dame.

    These videos show clearly Voris’s superiority. Thank you for sharing them so that all might have hope knowing that Voris is working to save us.

    • January 27, 2011 9:17 am

      Not even an American Institution…

      Please don’t try irony this early in the morning.

    • John Henry permalink
      January 27, 2011 10:57 am

      As an alum, I have to protest this vicious smear against my alma mater. Franciscan University doesn’t award STB’s, and, at least according to his biography, Voris has never attended and has no affiliation with the university.

      His BS is from Notre Dame and his (extremely impressive) STB was from the (Easy A)ngelicum.

      • M.Z. permalink
        January 27, 2011 1:38 pm

        The one thing I didn’t fact check burns me. Go figure. I apologize to Franciscan U.

  9. January 27, 2011 9:21 am

    The nuns who taught me in grade school would have loved Voris and been very suspicious of Fr. Barron. It is difficult to blame people (at least older people) for clinging to what they were taught in school.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 10:43 am

      Some cling. More flee.

      I think Voris exacerbates this precise dynamic.

  10. January 27, 2011 9:22 am

    Now who would have thought, Brett, that you would be the one responsible for making me listen to an entire Michael Voris video? Last time I tried he was waving a sword around and talking about manhood and I didn’t make it past thirty seconds.

    That said, aside from the guy’s voice (which I don’t like) the Voris video struck me as surprisingly unobjectionable. His big mistake is the phrase “God’s mercy ends at death” when talking about the particular judgement. I can see what he’s trying to say here, which is effectively that at the particular judgement the soul, confronted with the full and complete experience of what God is, must make a full and final choice for or against God. Sure, if you still have a strong attachment to sin that choice for God may be followed by the burning away of sin in purgatory, as (to use the modern terminology) the complete experience of God’s love burns away any remaining corruption or distortion in our own love for God. In that one last second change, all second chances are over.

    So when he says that God’s mercy is over after death, I get the impression that he’s probably trying to express something which is indeed in keeping with Catholic teaching, but I think it’s rather poorly expressed.

    Leaving that very badly chosen expression aside, it strikes me that the two videos actually do a pretty good job of capturing the two approaches to looking at sin and judgement that go back through Catholic history. Simplistically, Voris is taking a more old fashioned approach to the matter and Barron is taking a more modern one. Though in reality, it’s of course not that simple. For instance, Dante is reputed to be the ultimate in unforgiving, fire and brimstone Catholics, and yet two of the first people you meet in Purgatorio are a never-baptised pagan and a one of a group of souls who died in mortal sin (and even in excommunication) and repented only at the very instant of their deaths.

    When I landed the “death and afterlife” evening at RCIA last year, my approach was to build by talk around presenting both of these approaches to the four last things, and explaining how they are really two ways of understanding the same thing.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 10:46 am

      I don’t deny that Voris is trying to teach what the Church teaches. I believe he has some traits that are difficult for me to label in a charitable way that seriously impede his ability to do so.

      The radical juxtaposition between justice and mercy seems contrary to the whole biblical and theological tradition. That “one bad line” actually poisons the whole well.

    • Pinky permalink
      January 27, 2011 11:26 am

      This reminds me of the the comment from a seminary instructor that the average sermon contains three heresies. Voris’s intent and overall message are good – and I’m no fan of his – but if you’re going to put yourself in the position of teaching others about the Faith, then you don’t want to be making slipups. Ironically, Voris’s whole internet effort is focused on criticizing our appointed teachers for their failures.

      • January 27, 2011 3:11 pm

        That’s a good point, Pinky. By going around accusing other people of distorting Catholic teaching, Voris does pretty much paint a bullseye on himself.

  11. January 27, 2011 9:26 am

    (Oh, and FWIW, all the concern caused me to go and see how many subscribers Voris’ YouTube channel has. He has just over 5,000 subscribers, which is a lot. But for comparison I checked my own YouTube favorites Llamas With Hats and AutoTune The News, which I am relieved to find have roughly 400,000 and 1,100,000 subscribers respectively. So at least we know the world still has a balanced view of the intellectual life.)

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 10:51 am

      I’m not surprised Catholicism does not have a major presence on Youtube, but it seems to me the question isn’t how he compares to non-Catholic programming on Youtube. All that says is that relatively few people care to watch videos about the faith online.

      The real issue, it seems to me is, “Do any other Catholics approach him for numbers?”

      I compared him to Barron in terms of total views, not subscribers. In this regard he outdistances Barron 4 to 1. Like I said in another thread, hopefully that means people are watching him for a laugh, but even that makes us all look bad.

      • Dan permalink
        January 27, 2011 12:41 pm

        It’s the hair. Voris’ hair is mesmerizing.

    • January 27, 2011 11:38 am

      Okay, fair. Looking at views, it appears that although Voris has similar numbers of subscribers to Fr. Barron or EWTN, he has a lot more views. Perhaps in part because he cranks the things out constantly.

      I’ll admit, it didn’t really occur to me that someone who didn’t know much about Catholic teaching would turn to YouTube to fill in the gaps — I’d assumed that stuff like Voris’ videos were basically entertainment for people who already liked his approach. I just have a very strong bias towards text for getting actual information, I guess, but that’s not necessarily representative.

      I can see how this is something that would be concerning — though I guess I’m a bit unclear what can be done about it. I highly doubt that Voris is intentionally going off the reservation, and given that the Church has been (probably in most cases rightly) very highly reluctant to ever silence anyone, so I can’t exactly imagine Voris getting an email from the Vatican telling him to lay off. Probably the best approach is to attempt to crowd out — not just in terms of getting better Catholic teaching out there on YouTube, but in making sure to hit what appear to be the desired characteristics: Short, clear, “hard hitting”, unapologetically Catholic, a bit “fun”, etc.

      And, I guess, there’s a level at which maybe I just find it a little hard to get worked up in that I’ve pretty routinely run into much worse distortions of Catholic teaching in parishes I’ve been active in — again quite unintentional on the part of the person delivering them — in both catechesis and even written materials being handed out. That’s no excuse for other people to produce even more poor materials, but there is a sense in which it doesn’t stand out a whole lot, and is maybe even better than most.

      • Pinky permalink
        January 27, 2011 4:54 pm

        That’s a valid point about catechesis. But the printed word is permanent and refutable, and the bad sermon, while harder to refute, may be forgotten in a week. Voris’s videos are the worst of both worlds. They’re not written down, making it unlikely that anyone is going to systematically lay out the points of dispute, errors, and possible solutions. But they’re recorded, so someone could go back to them over and over. Imagine a bad sermon being preached 24/7.

  12. Bruce in Kansas permalink
    January 27, 2011 2:07 pm

    I didn’t find the Voris piece particularly objectionable. I liked the Barron piece as well.

    Am I allowed to do that?

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 8:42 pm

      The implications of such a choice will be clear at the judgment. ;)

  13. grega permalink
    January 27, 2011 5:00 pm

    David sums it up perfectly – “Fr. Barron’s version seems a lot more reasonable, but Voris’s is a lot closer to what I was taught in Catholic school.”
    Like quite a few here I did not find this example of a Voris routine particular outrageous in light of the fact that it closely reflects what was taught broadly until fairly recently. The societal circumstances are changing so rapidly these days no wonder that a widely accepted clear teaching from a couple of decades ago almost feels like centuries old – ponder even the fact that just a couple of years ago this sort of audio/visual You Tube based ‘discussion’ of rather fundamental questions to any religion would not have been possible. I happen to think that our quaint vision of Hell is very dated – the reason why Carlin can make wonderful fun of it and Hitchen can point out deep fundamental flaws with the kind of thinking informing a good number of religious fundamentalist aka Voris.
    Since Fr. Barron makes a reference to George Carlins take on the matter here is a link to that routine – which triggered yet another fundamentalist Fred Phelps to a “Voris” type responds.
    Clearly both type of voices exist.
    The fundamentalist one will never win.

    I do think it is possible to enjoy voices like Carlins/Hitchens etc. and ponder freely how they fit into tomorrows vision for our religion.

  14. Monica Harris permalink
    January 27, 2011 5:25 pm

    I am a fairly faithful Catholic who has nonetheless been “converted” by Voris. As he says, he is serious as a heart attack. Our earthly lives can end at any moment, and through modern complacency, we think we still have time to get our act together. Voris is trying to get us to really look at ourselves, the hardest thing we ever can do, and really live the Gospel and die for it. Father Barron has a different approach, but while Voris makes us all uncomfortable, that is his point. What is it going to be like looking at Jesus at our death?

    • January 27, 2011 5:39 pm

      Monica

      The thing is, the faith is serious. So serious when someone like Voris takes front stage, and gets the faith wrong, they are causing serious problems. He attacks things which the Church finds are real issues, and often, he distorts facts, makes the USCCB as a boogeyman (ignoring the Vatican’s explicit acceptance of things he attacks), and indeed, fails theologically time and again. He is often political, and engaging fallacious argumentation — guilt by association, for example. Just search Vox Nova, we have many posts explaining his problems.

  15. David Parkhurst permalink
    January 27, 2011 6:26 pm

    As an Orthodox Christian, I can say that Fr. Barron nailed the Eastern position. I think it was Bp. Kallistos Ware who said something to the effect that the “Great Divorce” was the best work ever written on Orthodox eschatology, and it was written by an Anglican! The Voris video just perpetuates the caricature of the “Latin-Frankish” view of hell which is often used to such effect by many of our apologists.

    I never held that caricature to be Catholic teaching, but I was surprised to hear Fr. Barron refer to the torments of hell as the love of God, which is painful to the reprobate (the Orthodox position.). I understood the Catholic view of hell to be the absence of God, which is unimaginable to us, for in our daily prayers we confess that God is “everywhere present and fillest all things.” Is God’s absence to be understood metaphorically?

  16. January 27, 2011 6:27 pm

    I’ll take a Michael Voris to a Nancy Pelosi any day.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 27, 2011 9:38 pm

      Thank God you don’t have just those two to pick from. Give me Robert Barron and James Martin and Matthew Kelly and Marcellino D’Ambrosio and Joseph Cao etc.

  17. January 27, 2011 9:21 pm

    Let’s put it this way… the Voris talk was 3:17min long while +Barron’s was 7:03min and seemed shorter.
    It’s like reading the Baltimore Catechism vs reading Aquinas.

  18. Nate Wildermuth permalink
    January 27, 2011 10:44 pm

    Did Christ set us free so that we could make a totally sovereign choice to accept or reject the Father forever? Or did Christ set us free so that we could escape the bondage of sin and embrace our true heritage as children of God?

    “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Gal 5:1). But who will Christ set free, if Paul is right that he “has mercy upon whom he wills, and he hardens whom he wills.” And yet we know this: “he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pt 3). Need I mention Paul’s prophecy that every knee will bend and every tongue will confess (by the Spirit no less) that Jesus Christ is Lord?

    Hope for universal restoration isn’t an earthly hope — as in I hope the Global Economy doesn’t collapse before I get my farm up and running. Hope in God is trust in God, is faith in God. The Pope in Spe Salvi tells us as much — hope and faith are essentially equivalent. I have faith in God’s power, I have faith in God’s love, and I have faith that God can redeem every man and woman without violating their freedom. But I can put it better! I have faith that God redeems us precisely by restoring our freedom — that truly human once more (as the Glory of God), we might exercise the essence of our freedom in loving our Creator and loving his Creation, forever.

  19. Pinky permalink
    January 28, 2011 10:49 am

    Let me toss this question into the mix: if Voris hadn’t made the specific mistake about God’s mercy ending at the moment of death, would you accept his video? We’re supposed to recognize the varieties of people and the different messages that could attract them; clearly, some people are put off by Voris and others by Barron, so there should be room for both approaches.

    • brettsalkeld permalink*
      January 28, 2011 11:44 am

      That’s a good question.

      It seems to me that that one little slip-up was actually indicative of a view of God that I find indefensible. Without the slip-up, there would be less to “pin” on Voris, but I think the rest of the video still manages to convey a distorted view of grace, sin, mercy, justice etc., all of which stem from an unCatholic (sorry, can’t think of a better word) understanding of God.

      There may be individual Voris videos that manage to escape such faux-pas, but it seems to me that the corpus as a whole must be rejected. It is produced by someone who actually has very little sense of the broad Catholic tradition and who presents himself with far more authority than his credentials (formal or informal) merit.

      The same thing can happen with liberals. There are times when it is hard to pin a particular heresy on someone, but the whole underlying attitude tends away from the fullness of the faith.

      And, his pedagogy is appalling. “Stop sinning . . .now!” Really? Is that actually gonna help anyone to overcome the struggles in their lives? As a fairly conservative friend of mine jokingly commented yesterday, “You had me at “stop.””

      As McLuhan said,”The medium is the message.”

      • Pinky permalink
        January 28, 2011 4:51 pm

        I haven’t seen enough of him to comment on that, but he does rub me the wrong way. But there were great saints who delivered the same message with the same bluntness. Different eras and different people are reachable in different ways, which is why the Church has so many saints and orders and apostolates. Be wary about condemning anyone else’s way to the fullness of the Catholic faith – which seems to be generally the direction these videos would lead someone. And where they wouldn’t, we should be critical of them.

        • brettsalkeld permalink*
          February 7, 2011 12:55 pm

          Voris approach strikes me as being much closer to the schismatics who thought they were saints, than any actual saints. His utter confidence in his ability to authoritatively interpret the faith makes me wonder how long he will be able to maintain communion.

    • January 28, 2011 11:51 am

      I sometimes find that Voris says some interesting things. Nevertheless, I find myself uncomfortable with the whole rhetorical matrix, starting with the idea of “real” Catholic TV. And he begins each session promising to undo the “lies” while actually addressing mere disagreements. The whole thing is arrogant and uncharitable, even when he happens to be correct.

      • January 30, 2011 10:13 pm

        Thank you. Voris is indeed quite frequently arrogant and uncharitable, and quite often inaccurate. His is not a message of faith or redemption, it is at best an outpouring of deep-seeded resentments. Where is any sense of forgiveness?

  20. Julian Barkin permalink
    February 2, 2011 5:21 pm

    Speaking of Hell and Voris, that Bieber-head just churned out another of his pieces on Hell.

    I get that Christ won the largest battle and all, but I disagree with Voris saying we’re the one’s assaulting Hell. Worse off this Thursday he’s Here in Canada Appearing on Michael Coren’s show.

    • February 7, 2011 8:48 am

      Just watched the latest Voris video on Hell and immediately realized that apparently, the Catholic Church must have been recently squired by the Southern Baptist Church. It also appears to have been a quite hostile takeover. Voris is however, a truly excellent representative for the Southern Baptist Church. 4 stars.

      • Dalila Velez permalink
        March 1, 2013 5:19 pm

        you think he differs from true catholic church because the teachings have been distorted. Read on Saint Jhon Bosco, and you see Voris is following a truthful doctrine. Even if it’s a bit scary to many, it still remains true.

  21. John King permalink
    March 13, 2011 5:44 pm

    I am tired of Voris’s point being misconstrued. What he means is exactly what the Catholic Church states in the Cathecism:

    1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.”4 The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

    I know you people are smart and understand what “immediately” means.

    • Bugd permalink
      February 7, 2013 2:48 am

      Thank Christ for your response John. Everyone else is speaking from heresay and garbage modern theology of which Fr. Barron relies on (i.e. Balthazar and co.). How he even brushes off the Common Doctor and the Doctor of Grace is astonishing.

      Christ Himself told us that the road is wide to hell but narrow is the path to salvation and only few find it! And not just find it but still few of those whom find it travel it!

      Christ teaches this, His Church which He established affirms His teaching, the Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church and other Saints have weighed in on the issue and have all affirmed Christ’s teaching. Further, the very fact that the saints are Catholic further highlights Church teaching particularly CCC1035 (thanks John).

      Doesn’t it strike you that the saints adhered to the Authority of the Magestrium? That the Church has such a teaching Authority which is God given? Why then does Fr. Barron dismiss the Church’s unequivocal teaching (read: not up for subjective interpretation) on Hell? Why does he not take the only interpretation of scripture which is that of the Magesterium on Christ’s words about Hell? And the echo of the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church on hell?

      Hell is not a matter of opinion. Further, just because there will be many souls does not diminish the hope that our loved ones be in heaven. We need to pray for all, particularly, if they are in purgatory because simply we do not know who is there.

      Btw, did you all who dismiss Voris’s view point, which is in line with the Christ, echoed by His Magestrium and His Saints. Please refer to the Summa Theologica, written by St. Thomas Aquinas on God’s mercy and justice. (http://www.newadvent.org/summa/5099.htm)

      The Catholic Church affirm’s Voris, the Church Fathers, Doctors of the Church and Saints tell us that God’s Mercy is NOW not at our judgement! The soul will know upon seeing Christ right after death that it was made for Him, to be with Him for all eternity BUT the choice would have been made during this life time!

      Is this a ‘nice’ answer? No! But it’s a Charitable one! And one you need to know and accept.

      Move past your obvious bias @brettsalkeld toward Michael Voris and take what Voris says in light of what the Church teaches and what is affirmed by those saints. Do you not think that the Church teaches the Truth? That the Truth being from Christ, whom is Christ?

      In the event you feel you need to defend the whole notion of reasonably defending Fr. Barron’s position on hell, here are some quotes from the Church Fathers on Hell:

      http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-hell-there-is

      Here are more quotes:

      http://www.romancatholicism.org/jansenism/fathers-fewness.htm
      http://saintsquotes.net/selection%20-%20fewness.html

      Here is an article that is worth reading on Hell:

      http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=4275

      I pray for Fr. Barron, he seems to be a gifted preacher and for you guys too.

      God love you all,

      Bugd

  22. Dalila Velez permalink
    March 1, 2013 5:17 pm

    They speak differently but say basically the same. Hell is a reality, and humans choose to behave in a way in order to respond to Gods love or to walk away from Him. And that includes laws that he gives so we can walk safely on earth on our path to eternity.

  23. Peter permalink
    April 14, 2013 12:28 pm

    Here’s a link which aptly describes about Michael Voris’ style of delivering the faith. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/pat-archbold/voris-corapi-and-the-ned-flanderification-of-catholic-commentary. His style is required for people like me who live in sin day in and day out, yet “reasonably hope” that they will be in heaven. I know that based on my sins (mortal, veniel and ommission), the only thing i can reasonably hope is hell or purgatory. Adding to what John King and bugd have mentioned, St Paul mentions in Phillipians 2:12: “… work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Now, that in no ways sounds like a reasonably hopeful statement. Can Michael Voris be wrong? Yes. Can Fr. Barron be wrong? Yes. God knows what’s right, and we can’t choose to believe what we would like to be right, except believe in what has been given or revealed. I listen to both of them and they have helped me in trying to live a good christian life. As for the qualifications of Michael Voris or anyone for that matter, let’s not forget that it was simple fishermen, tax collectors and uneducated folk who have given us our faith, through the grace and revelation of God.

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