The bitterness of hell, amplified by those whom the damned has caused to fall

From CNA comes an interesting point about the Four Last Things, which you should be thinking of constantly and your evening examination of conscience.

We have heard straight talk from Msgr. Scicluna before, about graviora delicta committed by priests who harm children.

Hell easier to bear for those who don’t drag others down with them, says Msgr. Scicluna

Rome, Italy, May 31, 2010 / 10:48 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An hour of Eucharistic Adoration [One of the practices Pope Benedict recommended to the Irish Church, but I digress…] was observed in the Basilica of St. Peter’s on Saturday morning in which priests, nuns, seminarians and lay faithful participated. Following the solemn event, Vatican official Monsignor Charles J. Scicluna emphasized the value of children to God and "true" disciples and admonished those who have committed harmful acts against them.

The initiative, promoted by students from the Pontifical universities in Rome, was carried out in the chapel behind St. Peter’s central altar.  According to organizers, the event was held to show solidarity for the Pope and pray for “reparation for abuses committed by priests and for the healing of this wound within the Church.” [Do I hear an "Amen!"?]
During his homily after adoration, Msgr. Scicluna, a Maltese priest and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’s promoter of justice, meditated on a passage from the Gospel of St. Mark. The reading includes the words, “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

According to a transcript of the event shared with CNA by Italy’s ASCA news, Msgr. Scicluna stated that children, for whom the Church has always attempted to protect, are a reminder to the disciples of Christ to look to Heaven “with a pure heart, with docility, abandonment, confidence, enthusiasm and hope.” All these things, he said, make the child “precious in the eyes of God and the eyes of the true disciple of Christ.

“How much, though, the earth becomes arid and the world sad when such a beautiful image … this ‘holy icon,’ is trampled, shattered, muddied, abused and destroyed.”

Citing the “deep cry from the heart of Jesus" that echoes, "‘Let the children come to me and do not hinder them!" Msgr. Scicluna continued the thought, saying, “do not impede it, do not be a hindrance in their path towards me, do not be an obstacle to their spiritual progress, do not let them be seduced by evil, do not make children the object of your impure covetousness.”

Referring back to the “terrible” words written by St. Mark, Msgr. Scicluna quoted St. Gregory the Great who said that any person who, having made vows to holiness, "destroys others through word or example" would have been better off having died of their misdeeds in a secular position, "rather than, through their holy office, being imposed as an example for others in their faults.

"Without a doubt, if they were to fall on their own, their torment in Hell would be easier to bear."

The torments of everlasting Hell are surely proportioned to the sins one committed.  But would they not also be proportioned to the number of people one causes to sin and therefore also lose the happiness of heaven?  How might the bitterness, despair, fury, woe of eternal separation from God by amplified by the knowledge of your part in their fall as well as in their presence… and their cries.

Hell is not going to be like this.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mike says:

    That’s very sobering. Yet another reason for Adoration/reparation, as they are doing at St. Peter’s.

    Mother of God, and Mother of all priests, pray for us.

  2. Stephen Hand says:


  3. rinkevichjm says:

    Oh surely Hell is not apportioned according our sins: it’s disappropriately apportioned since you have had the chance to confess and repent in this life. Great is repentance for the mercy it provides changes sins into good. In other words in order for God to justify you in the Sacrament of Penance, the priest is obligating God to provide the grace that changes the evil done into some good thing. Every sacramental confession is rejoiced at by the Church Victorious, I feel certain.

  4. Magpie says:

    Hardened and unrepentant hearts aside, as the Holy Father pointed out in his Irish letter, God’s mercy is available. Let us pray for the hardened sinners, that they may not despair, but repent of their sins.

  5. Tradster says:

    What bothers me are those who cause souls to be lost into Hell but they themselves repent and (presumably) escape the same fate. Of course, I trust God’s judgment but from my imperfectly human perspective it doesn’t seem fair.

  6. robtbrown says:


    No one is the essential cause of someone else going to hell. Man has free will.

  7. Maltese says:

    for the healing of this wound within the Church.

    What caused this festering “wound”?

    Was it Vatican II, or something deeper, and more festering?

    I would posit the latter: Vatican II was the symptom, not the disease, but neither is good.

    The virus started much earlier in, for instance, the Severin movement in Paris, in the 1950’s: they thought everything was licit, as long as their was breath to fog a mirror.

    Christ’s Sacrifice should be first and foremost, but now we have the Medjugorje delusion muddying the waters.

    The “Gospa”, in fact, has set-up a parallel faith, of sorts, a Bayside-esque cult, if you will, of those who “believe” in the cult, and those who do not!

    So, inevitably, those who are big proponents of Vatican II are inevitably big proponents of the “gospa” at Medjugorje….

  8. albizzi says:

    I apologize being ironic:
    Currently how many priests are teaching about sin and Hell as a consequence of sins, during their homilies?
    I remember of that story of a just ordinated priest, a bit traditionally minded, who was named as a new parish priest. He began to speak in harsh words about Hell and sin and so scared his parisheners that those went to complain to the local bishop who removed him quickly.
    Read the sermons of St John Mary Vianney and compare to the sugar coated ones we hear every sunday. Where is the discrepancy coming from? Obviously from VATII

  9. Father Flores says:

    This is a sorely needed message.
    As we look around at our culture it seems that Satan and all evil spirits are not thought of as “prowling about the world seeking the ruin of souls” (i.e. bent on our destruction and misery) rather they are seen as somewhat benign, misunderstood, overly-sarcastic acquaintances. How dangerous is that? Eternally dangerous. St. Michael the archangel, pray for us!

  10. Maltese says:

    We also need to hear more about the five sins which cry out to heaven for vengeance:

    (1) Willful murder – the blood of Abel, [Gen. 4:10]
    (2) The sin of the Sodomites, [Gen. 18:20; 19:13]
    (3) The cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, [Ex. 3:7-10]
    (4) The cry of the foreigner, the widow and the orphan, [Ex. 20:20-22] and
    (5) Injustice to the wage earner. [Deut. 24:14-5; Jas. 5:4]

    –#1867 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church

  11. Massachusetts Catholic says:


    With respect, your comments on Medjugorje are off-topic and incorrect. Those who come back from Medjugorje promoting daily recitation of the Rosary, monthly confession and fasting (two days a week!) — core messages from that site — are not welcomed with open arms by the “Spirit of Vatican II” crowd. There may be some overlap between the tow groups in love of guitar music and hand-holding during prayer, but in the love of Marian devotion there’s a sharp divide. I can’t speak to the decision of the church on the authenticity of the apparitions, but I do know good people and good priests who are involved in the movement.

  12. Jordanes says:


    . . . is a formally condemned Origenist error.

  13. Maltese says:

    Mass.. *but I do know good people and good priests who are involved in the movement.*

    That is true! Which makes it all the more dangerous!

    Good Catholics are being drawn into a possible (probable) diabolical deception; which makes it all the more urgent to get to the bottom of it!

    Trust me, I love Our Lady to the bottom of my heart. In criticizing Medjugorje I AM NOT criticizing our Lady, but, rather, defending her against banalism (at least in my mind.)

    I pray to her daily: I have a 300 year old Icon of her, which I pray to daily; my criticisms of Medjugorje are in the best intentions possible. But I am a fallible human being, so if Medjugorje proves to be a legitimate apparition site, I will be shocked, but I’ll trust the Church’s judgement.

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