Can We Please Stop Saying That People We Disliked Are In Hell?

Ever since Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, some on the internet have been informing us that she is now in hell. I am embarrassed to say that at least a couple of those who are informing us about the state of Justice Ginsberg’s soul are Catholics. One such stated that he prayed for her before she died, but since she died without repenting (how does he know that?) he no longer prays for her. According to him, she is definitely in hell.

There is a lot to know about Catholicism, and I don’t know most of it. But I have done enough reading-not a lot, but enough-that I think I can say that any Catholic who claims to know whether someone else is in heaven or hell doesn’t know what they are talking about. For example, one saint whose name I cannot remember converted to Catholicism from Judaism. He prayed fervently that his mother would convert as well. She didn’t. She died. This particular saint was seeing visions of Jesus and speaking with Him. When his mother died, he was inconsolable. When he saw Jesus, he asked Jesus why his prayer had not been answered. “Oh ye of little faith” Jesus said to him. And then Jesus told him that He had appeared to his mother at the moment she died, and she said “My Lord and my God”, and she was saved. This saint lived long before Vatican II: this is not mushy Vatican II stuff. This is not the idea of some crazy Jesuit. It is old time Catholic teaching.

There are some things that we just don’t know, and can’t know. I am praying for those who are so arrogant that they think they know who is in heaven and who is in hell. I pray that they will learn something about the faith they so grievously misrepresent.

22 thoughts on “Can We Please Stop Saying That People We Disliked Are In Hell?

  1. I wish that I could remember the name of this particular saint. There are so many saints, and so many who converted from Judaism. If Nanda or anyone else knows the name of the particular saint referenced in this post, it would be much appreciated 🙂

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  2. I think this might be Henri Rattisbonne, JaC. Let me do a little more hunting….Re: who’s in Hell; we know there is one, but we’ve no idea who’s in it.

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  3. As promised, JaC: Alphonse and Theodor Rattisbonne who were brothers, were ethnic (but atheist) Jews in the mid-19th century in France. After their separate conversion experiences, they moved to the Holy Land, built a monastery on the site of Pilate’s palace, and founded a religious order dedicated to prayer for the “fulfillment” of the Sinai Covenant in Christ. Neither of them is canonized yet, though.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nanda. Are you certain that one of those brothers had the experience I described? There are lots of Jewish people who converted, and a fair number of them became saints: I am pretty sure that the saint I read about was in fact a saint, and had definitely been canonized.

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      1. These two are most frequently mentioned – along with St. Teresia Benedicta (Edith) Stein – as Jewish converts to Catholicism, but I’ll gladly hunt some more….Do you recall where you saw/heard this account?

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        1. Thank you so much, Nanda, but please don’t hunt anymore! I didn’t intend to send you on a wild goose chase 🙂 I read this account in some book years ago. I remember that this saint lived long before Vatican II, but that’s pretty much it. There are so many saints, and that is a wonderful thing, but it’s very difficult to keep track of and remember them all! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Simon, it is always good to have Biblical backup 🙂 You and King James nailed it: the Catholics who are telling us that RGB is in hell are more Catholic than the Pope types.

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        1. What drives me batty is that they will say that they are basing this opinion not on their own opinion, but on Church teaching. They are so full of it. They are driving people away from the faith.

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  4. I hate anybody who purports to know about the hereafter or who makes fun of other people’s beliefs. It is no more ridiculous to picture Heaven with golden streets and blond DaForli angels and chubby putti fluttering around like butterflies, than it is to pontificate About mystical but more restrained and tasteful union with the Divine. NOBODY knows ANYTHING. .

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    1. Welcome, Catholic of Honor, thank you for your comment 🙂

      Jesus said that it would be better for Judas if he had never been born. I kind of always took that to mean that Judas is in hell, but then again, I am no Biblical scholar. Other than that, you are right: we can’t say.

      When Mary appeared to the three children at Fatima, they asked her about a woman they knew who had died. She told them that this woman would be in purgatory until the end of time. It is totally possible for God to punish very severely without the person going to hell. The punishment can go on for a very long time, without being eternal.

      There are those who say that people in hell choose to be there; some say that is crazy, because who would choose to go to hell? Answer: Saul Alinsky. He actually told a reporter shortly before his death that given a choice between Heaven and hell, he would choose hell. He also dedicated one of his books to Lucifer.

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        1. I’m not sure. It’s something I heard a priest say. We do call our Lady the Queen of Heaven. It is true that in heaven we must admit One to be greater than us. So, these people choose hell over heaven, I think, mainly because they choose themselves over heaven.

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        2. I’m sorry, I wasn’t clear-I totally agree with you about people in hell choosing themselves over heaven, but the idea of people in heaven co reigning with God is a new concept for me. I am intrigued 🙂

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