|Adolph Hitler: One of Three People in Hell.|
Robert Barron: Forget About Hell
Fr. Robert Barron had a credible career as the Catholic Carl Sagan, hosting a Catholic Cosmos that had Barron wandering around cathedrals looking goofily amazed.
Then he decided it is ridiculous to have people being afraid of going to Hell in the 21st century. Although he uses circumlocutions, he denies Hell for all practical purposes. The narrow gate has been dynamited, and everybody is going through it these days.
Look. The Bear will always have a trial lawyer's skills and instincts. He lays them out for your assessment every day. Barron could look shocked and say, "Bear, I never said there's no Hell!" and the Bear would look in him the eye and say:
"Yes. You did. You thought you were cute enough to fool the Bear, and to fool God with your lying mouth, but there all sorts of ways to lie. Do you know what Bears do to liars?" (Do you?)
The Hound writes it about Barron here today. The Hound is sort of a running-mate with the Bear. We seem to be simpatico, with significant overlap in our audiences. If you don't know Mahound's Paradise, it is a good day to introduce yourself.
Barron appears to be well-educated and intelligent. Just the kind of fellow the Devil loves. Stupid people are of no use to him, except in large numbers. But get Fr. Barron to tell Catholics they don't have to worry about Hell, and, why, you've scored quite a coup!
Pope Benedict XVI and the Bell Curve Theory of Salvation
But let's not forget that Barron is not the only one who has banged this drum. Nobody believes in Hell anymore. Why this should be the Bear cannot figure out. Dogma does not change with the calendar. Except you know, it does. Which is why every morning the Bear has to tell himself: "No matter what crap you hear today, you will close your eyes and go to sleep as a Catholic." Some days it is not easy.
Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Spes Salvi is, oh, quite the little gem in this regard. Yes, Hell exists, and we have seen a few people in our very own times who were such slavering caricatures of evil, that yes, they are probably in Hell. On the other hand, there are those who are so perfect, that they are clearly in Heaven. Check out Paragraph 46, where Benedict introduces the "Bell Curve Theory of Salvation."
Yet we know from experience that neither case is normal in human life. For the great majority of people—we may suppose—there remains in the depths of their being an ultimate interior openness to truth, to love, to God. In the concrete choices of life, however, it is covered over by ever new compromises with evil—much filth covers purity, but the thirst for purity remains and it still constantly re-emerges from all that is base and remains present in the soul. What happens to such individuals when they appear before the Judge?
So, Hitler, Stalin and Osama bin Laden are playing bridge with the Devil in the vast, echoing emptiness of Hell, but you and me? Don't be ridiculous! Hell is not for the likes of us! Not us ordinary folks of whatever religion who, sure, may fool around on our spouses, but only a little, and, okay, may cheat others in our business deals, but, certainly have not completely eliminated all decency, all hope, and all love.
And, all the nonsense about mortal sins, and worrying about confession? Why, that's just something little old ladies used to believe in. All you need is, somewhere inside, "an ultimate openness to truth, to love, to God!"
The Bear has always been puzzled by those who seem to have forgotten that Benedict was a German theologian, and we know all about them.
Anyway, Hear O Catholic, the consensus among the best scholars and Catholic media personalities is that you don't have to spend a second worrying about Hell. You are guaranteed Heaven unless you somehow manage to become a figure of historical import whose name everyone agrees is synonymous with evil.
So do whatever the Hell you want. You'll get to Heaven. Why? Just because.