Do Terrorists go to Heaven? Mark Shea’s salvation heresy

As discussed in my previous post, Mark Shea believes and promotes the heretical claim that perhaps no human persons at all are sent to Hell, and that perhaps all human persons eventually receive eternal happiness in Heaven. He hopes and prays for this result. And even though he has stated the probability that some souls are sent to Hell, he still thinks it is possible that no souls are sent to Hell, and all eventually reach Heaven.

Mark Shea’s position implies that perhaps all of the following persons end up in Heaven:

* Adolf Hitler
* Everyone who helped Hitler commit genocide
* Joseph Stalin
* Saddam Hussein
* Usama bin Laden
* Pol Pot
* every other brutal dictator, along with all who assisted them in their wicked deeds
* everyone who commits or assists in any genocide
* every mass murderer
* every war criminal
* every terrorist
* every murderer
* every serial killer
* every torturer
* every drug dealer and drug kingpin
* every leader of organized crime
* every pornographer and child pornographer
* every kidnapper
* every arsonist
* every rapist
* every child abuser
* every wife-beater
* every human trafficker
* everyone involved in slavery and other forms of oppression
* every criminal, no matter how severe his offenses
* every member of ISIS and other extremist Islamic groups
* every religious leader who condemned Jesus to death
* everyone who massacred Christians throughout the history of the Church
* every false prophet
* everyone who uses religion to obtain power, money, or sex
* everyone who persecutes the faithful and the just
* everyone who hates Christ and the Church
* everyone who hates any religion or religious believer
* everyone who is filled with malice or lust or greed or any wicked desire
* the Antichrist and all who worship the Antichrist (when he arrives in the distant future)
* everyone who literally worships devils

Mark Shea is hoping and praying that all these human persons, regardless of the number and severity of their sins and crimes, go to Heaven, and that none of them are justly punished in Hell. He might say that he is hoping that all repent. But it is obvious that the vast majority do not repent. In fact, if each and all of the above-named persons repented in the last second of life, by some special act of God’s grace, the teachings of Jesus and His Church on the path of salvation would be meaningless and false. But if what Jesus and the Church teach is true, then the above-listed persons do not go to Heaven, but are justly punished in Hell.

[1 Corinthians]
{6:9} Do you not know that the iniquitous will not possess the kingdom of God? Do not choose to wander astray. For neither fornicators, nor servants of idolatry, nor adulterers,
{6:10} nor the effeminate, nor males who sleep with males, nor thieves, nor the avaricious, nor the inebriated, nor slanderers, nor the rapacious shall possess the kingdom of God.

Repentance is indeed possible. But the greater your sins and the longer you live without repentance, the more difficult the path of repentance becomes. A Saint can repent of a lifetime of occasional venial sins in the last moment of life. An extremely wicked person who has willingly committed innumerable actual mortal sins and has always despised repentance, cannot repent in a single moment. True repentance requires time and effort; it requires a consideration of the sins of one’s life. And if one’s sins are extremely grave and numerous, it takes much time and effort.

If any of the above persons were to be forgiven by Confession, the Church infallibly teaches (at the Council of Trent) that they would first need to undertake a diligent examination of conscience, and then confess every mortal sin, in kind and number, since their last good Confession, and they would need at least imperfect contrition. And that is the easier path to forgiveness. For those who do not go to Confession, repentance with perfect contrition is absolutely necessary. Repentance is always possible, through the last moment of life. But if you have chosen to commit a lifetime of exceedingly wicked acts without repentance, then you have chosen to be the kind of person who does not examine his conscience and who does not seek goodness or truth or love of neighbor or love of God. Therefore, it is absurd, false, and heretical to claim that perhaps all human persons are sent to Heaven, and none are justly punished in Hell.

Mark Shea claims that the Church also hopes and prays that all are saved. To the contrary, the Roman Catholic Church has repeatedly infallibly taught that some souls are punished by God in Hell forever, due to unrepentant actual mortal sin. It is a dogma of the Council of Trent that the salvific benefits of Christ’s death on the Cross are not received by everyone. And it is a dogma of multiple Ecumenical Councils that the general resurrection and judgment includes the resurrection and judgment of the reprobate souls from Hell, as well as the holy souls from Purgatory and Heaven. Mark Shea openly contradicts these infallible teachings of the Church. His position implies that perhaps everyone receives the salvific benefits of Christ’s death on the Cross and that perhaps no souls from Hell will be resurrected and judged, since Hell might be devoid of human souls. Like so many teachers of Catholicism today, he teaches without first having learned.

Can we know for certain that terrorists and brutal dictators and wicked persons are sent to Hell? I say “Yes”, we can know that they go to Hell, for we know that God is Just. This knowledge that some persons go to Hell, is, in any particular case, mere human knowledge, not an article of faith. But there are articles of faith which infallibly teach that some souls are sent to Hell.

Now you might object saying that perhaps some of the above-listed persons repent and go to Heaven. Yes, perhaps some repent and go to Purgatory, for a very long time, and then go to Heaven. But Shea’s position is not merely that SOME repent and go to Heaven, but that perhaps ALL of them repent and go to Heaven. Mark Shea thinks that PERHAPS every single rapist, murderer, terrorist, dictator, slaver, drug dealer, torturer, child abuser, child pornographer, human trafficker — and every other malicious evil-doer — will end up in Heaven TO SPEND ETERNITY WITH THE VICTIMS OF THEIR CRIMES. And saying “perhaps” or “we hope and pray” or similar expressions, does not make this idea any less ludicrous.

How could they end up in Heaven? They would have to commit all those exceedingly grave sins with a sincere but mistaken good conscience (which I contend is impossible for the gravest of offenses), or they would have to repent and go to Confession, or repent with perfect contrition, that is, with sorrow motivated by a true sincere love of God. Is this proposition possible? I say it is rare among the worst of sinners, and without doubt it does not occur in most cases. Mark Shea literally believes that every perpetrator of all of the above-listed sins and crimes possibly will repent and go to Heaven, and that perhaps none of them are punished in Hell.

How does such a plan make sense before a God who is certainly merciful, but also a just Judge? It is as if the mayor of a crime-ridden city built a great prison for all the worst criminals — and then decided that no one deserved to go there, despite the constant barrage of exceedingly grave crimes committed in his city.

See my previous posts:
Catholic commentary on the death of bin Laden
More Catholic commentary on the death of UBL
Can We be Certain that Terrorists go to Hell?

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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1 Response to Do Terrorists go to Heaven? Mark Shea’s salvation heresy

  1. missy681 says:

    If he believes (or hopes) that no souls are in Heaven, then he doesn’t believe what Lucia said at Fatima — souls are pouring into hell. Or St. John Bosco, who said a similar thing. Or some other saint (I forget who) who said something like, “the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops and cardinals.” I’m pretty sure that I read in one of the multitude of things on Fatima that the children never smiled again after their vision of hell. There are plenty of saints, and some seers (whether accepted by the church or not, I do not know), who’ve been given the grace to see hell, and none of them have given an account that would lead anyone to believe that hell is empty. The only thing they say is that it’s so horrific, we need to pray for the conversion of sinners now. When I think of “the souls are pouring into hell” the image that comes to my mind isn’t close to zero. I don’t know how anyone else can think that.

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