The existence and nature of Hell

Dear Editor, With reference to David Quinn’s ‘Is Hell really real?’ (IC 8/5/14), Catholic theology has always maintained that after death there are two locations ultimately where the souls of the dead continue to exist, namely Heaven and Hell. Hell has never been defined and the mode of existence there is unknown to us.

Let us consider the hypothetical case of a man who, in the course of his life, engaged in a series of evil, sinful, criminal and sadistic activities bringing death, suffering, sadism and mourning to many innocent individuals and families.

This man eventually dies without ever repenting of all the evil of his activities. Any Catholic who rejects the existence of Hell would then have to believe that God would welcome the soul of that person into his kingdom to the extent of sharing his divinity with the soul of that person.

Put plainly, we are born with a sense of good and evil and with free will to choose how we live. From the example given, rejecting the existence of Hell implies that, regardless of whether we embrace good or evil in this life, our activities are inconsequential to our mode of existence after death.

Considering all the pain and suffering endured in our mortal existence in this life, which God in his omniscience, has pre-knowledge of, one would have to ask, if Heaven is our only destination, why did God not create us in Heaven to begin with?

Hell, whatever its complete nature is, must imply estrangement from God in some way.

Yours etc.,

Albert Collins,


Co. Cork.