Columnists > How many contemporary, secular-minded people are afraid of Hell?

18 February 2016 | by Carmody Grey

How many contemporary, secular-minded people are afraid of Hell?

The problem with Pope Francis is: he doesn’t warn people about Hell.” I was trying to defend Pope Francis to a room of young Catholic scholars. They were convinced that his style represents a dangerous departure from the tradition of the popes: rather than being precise, cautious and analytic, Francis is prone to overstatement, sweeping generalisation and lack of concern for the continuity and consistency of the papal magisteria. I decided to stick up for him. I proposed that the vivid imagery, conversational informality and affective rather than intellectual appeal which characterise his writing is in an authentic biblical and prophetic tradition, in contrast to his more cerebral and philosophical predecessors. But then one of my interlocutors, the only priest present, raised


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