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Q. I have heard prominent Church teachers say that no one is in hell. I find this very disturbing and unsettling. How can someone say this kind of thing and still call themselves a Catholic?

A. The Church teaches there is a heaven and a hell, and that there is a particular and a general judgment that a person is subject to because of the decisions and choices the individual has made in his or her life. No one can be a Catholic and deny these truths. But the Church does not insist there is anything incorrect in a hope that all will be saved and that hell will be empty. There is a difference between a dogma and a hope.


Q. Is it a serious sin not to have penitential practice on Fridays? I understand that the Fridays of Lent are obligatory, but all Fridays are supposed to be penitential, too.

A. No, it is not a serious sin. The practice is an invitation to participate in a solid and useful spiritual practice and discipline. The penalty of sin need not be imposed when we bypass important, useful practices such as this one.

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