National Catholic Register


Vatican Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news from the Vatican.

BY John Lilly

April 8-14, 2007 Issue | Posted 4/3/07 at 9:00 AM


Pope Benedict: Hell Is Both Real and Eternal

Pope Benedict said hell is not just a religious symbol to bring the faithful together; it is a real place where sinners are eternally separated from God’s love, the online version of the Times of London reported.

Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome in late March, the Holy Father said that 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.” He added that God had given men and women free will to choose whether “spontaneously to accept salvation ... the Christian faith is not imposed on anyone, it is a gift, an offer to mankind.”

Europe ‘Losing Faith in Its Future,’ Benedict Says

In a report from the Associated Press, Pope Benedict warned against “dangerous individualism” in Europe, where many people are having fewer children, thus dooming its future.

“One must unfortunately note that Europe seems to be going down a road that could lead it to take its leave from history,” the Pope told bishops in Rome for ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, a major step toward the creation of today’s European Union. “You could almost think that the European continent is in fact losing faith in its own future.”

Benedict Mourns Victims of Explosion

AllAfrica news service reported that Pope Benedict conveyed his condolences to officials and those in Mozambique who were affected by the late-March armory explosion that killed at least 100 and injured more than 450.

In a telegram sent to Archbishop Francisco Chimoio of Maputo, the Pope prayed “for the victims, whom he entrusts to the Lord’s mercy, for the injured, for their families, and for the inhabitants of the region, that they might find the necessary help and support in this time of trial.”