Eternal damnation

Re: Will there be a day when hell is empty? (May 19):

The purpose of this letter is to correct a theological misconception in a statement in Fr. Ron Rolheiser’s column.

The state of being in hell, also known as eternal damnation, is the state of permanent separation from God. The possibility of hell is a consequence of the freedom of humans and angels to reject God’s invitation to enter into a loving relationship with Him.

Creatures in hell are there because they obstinately chose to refuse God’s saving love. By its very definition, the state of being in hell is a permanent one. There can be no hope in hell, and no one in hell can be converted because they have decided never to accept conversion. 

I believe this is dogma of the Catholic Church, and I am disheartened with discussions of the possibility of “saving” those in hell, or that hell may be empty.

Jean Pierre Rank,

Sudbury Ont.

Questions to ask

The June 9 issue of The Catholic Register included an intensive discussion and analysis of abortion, its legal status and its morality. 

However, when are we going to begin a similar conversation about the sacrifice of children, born and unborn, to the god of war? 

When are Christians going to become conscious that they have participated in this sacrifice of children by participating in war willingly and even arguing for its necessity? 

It is going on even now in a number of places, and Christians are participating in these massive human sacrifices where a high percentage of the victims are children, born and unborn. 

Why has there not been an outcry of the Catholic community against this sacrifice? Jesus had harsh words for anyone who deliberately injured a child. Have we not heard about this or have we just ignored and denied that we would ever do such a thing? 

These are uncomfortable questions, but Christians are obligated to ask them and answer them.

Walter and Ruth Klaassen,

Saskatoon, Sask.

Sharing memories

Thank you for the articles written by Harry McAvoy concerning his thoughts on Alzheimer’s with respect to his father and himself. Both articles were very informative and so honestly written. 

Memory loss seems to be part of this aging process we all must face daily to some degree. I so appreciate his sharing of memories and also the depth of his faith. 

Such a journey is in many ways frightening but hopefully we also come to cherish our Catholic life as he does.  

Catherine von Zuben,

Thornhill, Ont.

Tangible hope

Re: Ecological conversion (Letters to Editor, June 16):

I agree with the recommendation of having a weekly column featuring Laudato Si’. This encyclical is written for everyone and can benefit all. Pope Francis stresses the principles that are clearly about the social teaching of the Church and private property. 

The strong message can make hope tangible for the future of climate change. It promotes the concepts of equality and a social mortgage on all private property, a true community of people, working to care for each other. 

Virginia Edman,


A quarter century ago, towards the end of a year in which her children had been running amok, Queen Elizabeth lamented her annus horribilis, her horrible year. The bishops of America know that feeling.

Recently I experienced a rather serious injury. The official version is that I fell off a 15-foot ladder while rescuing a child from a burning building. 

Curiosity is not my first response. The little voice is so imploring: “Is there just one more packet of seeds in this drawer, Mommy? I just need to plant one more packet of seeds.” I am making dinner, on a timeline, and the combination of little hands in the junk drawer and the garden boxes raises my blood pressure. I just want to finish cooking. Who has time for curiosity?

I read George Orwell’s 1984 when I was in high school. We were still in the midst of the Cold War and were taught it was a book about the evils of communism. 

Graduation season is upon us. Universities, high schools, elementary schools and these days even kindergarten cohorts celebrate and move forward to places unknown to them. 

I can never decide whether it’s the optimist or the masochist in me that believes the relentless assault on conscience rights is set to collapse under its own absurdity.


Re: Changing of the guard (June 2):

To say that there is “significant resistance” to the change in the Knights of Columbus uniform is a blatant understatement. In a survey of District 2 (encompassing the GTA and area) more than 90 per cent of the Fourth Degree members opposed the dictated change. 

Latin may never bounce back from being all but dead, but the Vatican keeps trying and deserves credit for its efforts. If not them, no one else will.

In our liturgy, Catholics confess that we have “greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do.” Sin takes more than one form, and often what we fail to do makes as much space for evil to grow as do our overtly sinful actions.

As proud parents, we basked at the Queen’s University convocation ceremony earlier this month where our son received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History.