Feb 11, 2008 / 11:46 am
At Pope Benedict XVI’s question and answer session with priests from his diocese last Thursday, one cleric told the Pope he was concerned that the catechism of the Italian bishops’ conference never mentions hell or purgatory, and speaks of heaven only once. “With these essential parts of the creed missing,” the priest asked, “doesn’t it seem to you that the redemption of Christ falls apart?”
In reply, the Pope called heaven, hell, and purgatory “fundamental themes that unfortunately appear rarely in our preaching,” journalist and church expert Sandro Magister reports.
Pope Benedict suggested that Catholics had been excessively affected by Marxist objections that Christians concentrated on heaven so much that they overlooked the importance of the world. The neglect of speaking heaven, purgatory, and hell, he thought, was possibly due to a desire to show Christians are concerned about earthly things.
The importance of the afterlife, however, should not be neglected.