St. Thomas Aquinas draws upon the teaching of Scripture to clearly outline and defend the existence of Hell. 

Writing about where souls are borne immediately after death, the great theologian writes:

And since a place is assigned to souls in keeping with their reward or punishment, as soon as the soul is set free from the body it is either plunged into hell or soars to heaven, unless it be held back by some debt, for which its flight must needs be delayed until the soul is first of all cleansed.

“This truth is attested by the manifest authority of the canonical Scriptures and the doctrine of the holy Fathers,” he continues, “wherefore the contrary must be judged heretical as stated in Dial. iv, 25, and in De Eccl. Dogm. xlvi.”

Later in the same section, St. Thomas reaffirms the physical existence of Hell, drawing as always from the Fathers of the Church and Sacred Scripture. Citing St. Basil, Aquinas writes that:

At the final cleansing of the world, there will be a separation of the elements: whatever is pure and noble remaining above for the glory of the blessed, and whatever is ignoble and sordid being cast down for the punishment of the damned: so that just as every creature will be to the blessed a matter of joy, so will all the elements conduce to the torture of the damned, according to Wisdom 5:21, “the whole world will fight with Him against the unwise.”

Click here to see what Pope Francis has to say about Hell

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