Fr. Barron comments on Is Hell Crowded or Empty?

Fr. Robert E. Barron

Father Barron on Is Hell Crowded or Empty? –



  1. Dear Father Barron,

    This video reminds me of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday of repentance where they symbolically throw away their sins and ask for God’s forgiveness. A few years ago my wife and I prayed for everyone and asked for God’s forgiveness in a Christian style recognition of the Jewish holdiay. That night I had yet another very strange heavenly dream.I dreamed that my wife and I had spent the night in a heavenly hotel, a place where all the children of Israel had come and gathered to celebrate Rosh Hashanah. Amy and I came out of our hotel room and wanted to go downstairs to the main lobby. The hotel was now empty, all the guests had left with only a few workers still remaining. We walked to the elevator and noticed that it was out of service. The repair techs were pulling all kinds of garbage that had fallen down into the elevator shaft. The elevator was clogged and could not work. Seeing the broken elevator, my wife and I walked to the next elevator, but it also was broken. We walked yet again to a third elevator and likewise it was broken, overstuffed with garbage.
    My wife and I decided to go to management section of the hotel. We walked in and a woman spoke to us saying, “yes I know, all of the guest elevators are out of service, but you can use the staff elevator here. It works just fine.” We both said thanks and went downstairs. When we walked into the main lobby, I was surprised to see the entire gigantic room covered in garbage. There were piles after piles of garbage as tall as a person everywhere I could see. Who would have guessed that the children of Israel would have so much sin to throw away? I noticed as few hotel workers walking around as if they also had never seen such a mess. I said to my wife, “Well, I guess we should be going now.” As I was about to leave, my heavenly father and by the way the person in charge of the hotel, Jesus, walked up to me and said, “Not so fast. Where do you think you are going? Today is garbage day and we have to take all of this garbage out of here.” In shock, I said, “We have to do what??? We have to take all of this garbage out? You have got to be kidding me.” Jesus replied, “No, I am serious. We have to take all of this garbage out and we should start now.” After Jesus said that, he began to pick up each piece of garbage by hand one at a time. I looked at the almost endless pile of garbage and said in dismay, “Oh no… this is going to take a while,… well,… OK,… I will help you.” I started to help clean up and then the dream ended.
    Father Barron, if you read this, I’m guessing that you will probably understand the meaning of my dream better than I do, but it seems to me that Jesus is very interested universally in each and every one of us. God bless

  2. This is the truth: Many will end up in Hell. No one can escape the justice of God.

    How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and FEW there are that find it! [Matthew 7:14]. For many are called, but few are chosen. [Matthew 22:14]. And a certain man said to him: Lord, are they few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. [Luke 13:24-25].

  3. I don’t think this priest knows what he is talking about. He meanders all over place and never comes close to the Catholic definition, but yet he readily admits it to be “his” opinion. To add insult to injury he declares at the conclusion his opinion to be the “Catholic” understanding. I would suggest Father Barron read the works of Fr. Martin von Cochen.

  4. Father Barron is an intelligent theologian, and a faithful one. His many works demonstrate that. The matter which is being discussed in this video is within the realm of speculative theology. Speculative theology is meant to probe the outer limits of the mysteries of God. This means that there will be legitimate disagreements between faithful theologians. This pursuit of truth is not to be despised, the multitude of heterodox theologians notwithstanding.

    That there are people in hell, or that people there now will remain for all eternity, is NOT a matter defined by the Church as a truth divinely revealed. Fr. Barron was very careful about what he said, and what he said of Church teaching was true.

  5. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, ‘eternal fire.’ The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs” (CCC 1035).

    “Woe on those who will die in mortal sin! Blessed are they who will be found in your most holy will, for the second death will not harm them” (St. Francis of Assisi).

    Our Lady of Fatima also tells us that “many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray for them and make sacrifices for them.”

    Understanding the Church approves an apparition BUT does not demand the faithful believe it.However, after the scrutiny in which the church researches an apparition I believe Fatima is worthy of belief.
    My next question if you believe in the phenomena of Fatima you can not dispute Our Lady’s words.

    So while I agree with Fr .Barron’s idea in the hope many will be saved and the mercy of God is unfathomable. I believe the Church needs to preach personal sin and disobedience to God’s commandments could place us in jeopardy of remaining in hell for eternity.After all the sacrifice of the life of Jesus and his ignominious death is not something the Father takes lightly( hence the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass being offered) Please remember God is mercy but God is also just. The early Church Fathers reiterate this message and the Church, the saints attest to it and the Church has sealed it.

  6. As a lay Catholic I understand Fr. Barron’s position and respect his right to his “softer” interpretation and think I understand the reasoning behind it; as a priest I think he is finding it more and more difficult to reach common ground with those wayward Christians in this world of “everything is ok” and personal affirmation. In fact I can remember a time when I strayed a great deal from the path as a faithful Catholic(I’m still a sinner mind you) and I can remember being severely “grated” for lack of a better term to the fire and brimstone message and opted for the “softer” beliefs to get myself acclimated. Still after all these years I realize that “acclimation” was really a period of letting go of my own great and at the same time useless will and opting for something much more lasting and real, God’s. Fortunately God put up with me but in retrospect I suffered a lot more than I needed too trying to get “used” to the water and wish I hadn’t been so vain.

    IMO the problem is the world and unfortunately many Christians have convinced us that all or parts of God’s will are not worth submitting too. Dangerous to say the least. And even more dangerous would be to dismiss hell. Fact is there are a lot of people out there who absolutely know God and choose to resist and hate him, just like Lucifer and I expect many of the aforementioned will get what they have always wanted after living their life and purposely hurting and misleading others along the way. In summary, people make decisions and some purposely reject God and embrace what He is not and this is certainly sorrowful but also true.

  7. On the one hand, I like the optimism presented. God’s mercy and grace would have to be beyond our imagination to overcome the obstinance that we see in some people. However, the work of God in a person’s soul at the last moments of their life is invisible to us, so we can’t ultimately know.

    My concern is that we don’t become lax in our lives, or send a message that causes laxness in others. After all, as Fr. Barron said at the beginning, Jesus spoke a lot about hell.

  8. Yes we could hope, but remember the word (bible) is the word. Just like in the old testament was said, and happened. Same thing with the new. It says that there will be few that go to heaven. Remember, we are talking about all people that have ever lived. So in a way few can be a lot to us, but few to God since he knows of everyone that has existed. Don’t you think? Tell me where I am wrong, it would help me correct myself. Thank you.

  9. While I respect Fr. Barron’s softer opinion on the matter, I’m with Saints Thomas and Augustine on this one; I think that there are a lot more people going to Hell than Heaven.