Good news: The pope believes in Hell. Bad news: He doesn’t necessarily believe it’s a literal place, but a “state of eternal separation from God,” to be understood “symbolically rather than physically.” (Note: Hell is not eternal separation from God, it’s the very real presence of God’s wrath present in Hell. It is though, total separation from His loving presence. Also the Bible describes Hell as a very real place. Nevertheless, read this article from News.com:
HELL is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful, Pope Benedict XVI has said.
Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome, the Pope said that in the modern world many people, including some believers, had forgotten that if they failed to “admit blame and promise to sin no more”, they risked “eternal damnation – the inferno”.
Hell “really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more”.
The Pope, who as cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of Catholic doctrine, noted that “forgiveness of sins” for those who repented was a cornerstone of Christian belief. (To continue reading, click here!)