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Is Hell Empty?

I once had a Catholic ask me not to use certain readings for a funeral Mass because all those references to "judgment" might offend people. If you look at the options for funeral Mass readings, there certainly are a number of places where eternal judgment is referenced. It is somewhat shocking when you realize how people who believe in the reality of Hell seem like they never want to consider the possibility that anyone could go there (other than maybe Hitler).


It reminds me of a story I once heard about a mother and her daughter (who was about 6 years old) who were going to a cemetery to put some flowers on a grave. The little girl was reading the epitaphs on headstones and asked her mother a question; "Mommy, where are all the bad people buried?" No, we do not want to speak ill of the dead, but there is something wrong if we refuse to acknowledge that Hell is real and that people actually do end up there. It seems as though many believe that the worst sins a person can commit are suddenly ignored by God once the person dies. How can we possibly rid ourselves of this error?

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