To some extent, I have seen an evolution, on the part of Father Barron, on this topic in the past few years.One of my early blog posts on the topic of Hell, and why it is a reasonable teaching, actually made use of a video by Father Barron wherein he articulates quite well the reasonableness of the Biblical teaching.Pope Benedict says in effect, that we “may suppose” that the great majority of people end up eventually in heaven.It is true, that at the end of the video he does brook the notion that we don’t know if anyone is specifically in Hell, but he does not dismiss the notion either, and leaves the matter sufficiently vague, such that his vigorous defense of the reasonableness of Hell is not undermined. But in more recent years Father Barron has seem to move more steadily toward the notion, that Hell is largely unpopulated and that the Lord’s teaching that many go there is largely to be set aside in favor of other notions relating to His mercy. Barron states his fundamental objection to Martin’s reiteration of Church teaching and of It seems to me that Pope Benedict’s position — affirming the reality of Hell but seriously questioning whether that the vast majority of human beings end up there — is the most tenable and actually the most evangelically promising.Ralph Martin ably answers father Barron’s critique, HERE, but the heart of his answer is that the Pope’s reflections are in the form of a supposition.But permit just a few summary bullet points: In the current discussion taking place in the blog is here, I have this particular regret.Namely, that a man and a priest I admire greatly, Father Robert Barron holds the position he currently does on this topic.
As most of you know, there has been a rather vivid discussion recently in the blogosphere on the subject of hell.As one who has written rather substantially, on the topic of hell, and our need to recover a more biblical notion regarding judgment and hell, I pray that you will tolerate me adding my own voice to the recent discussions.Those who read this blog regularly, will know that I have spoken on the topic of Hell on any number of occasions.For example: The Hell of It ——–Hell Has to Be——Will Many Be Saved?
Ralph Martin also details in a respectful way recent trends, which have influenced a great many Catholics, and others to discount the biblical teaching, as well as the Christian Tradition of over 1900 years, prior to modern reconsideration.
I will not rewrite all the articles that I have referenced above, and re-defend the teaching on Hell, as I have done before, and Ralph Martin has done ably and thoroughly in his book.