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Archbishop Pell reminds world's bishops about hell

Sydney's Archbishop George Pell chose to speak about the "forgotten" teachings on purgatory and hell during his intervention at the current World Synod of Bishops in Rome.

Archbishop Pell told the bishops that their duty is to encourage "the development of genuine Christian hope". This, he said, involves an essential appreciation of the final judgment, which marks "the establishment of universal justice".

He said: "One could say that there is considerable silence and some confusion on such Christian hope especially as it touches the last things, death and judgment, heaven and hell.

"Limbo seems to have disappeared, purgatory has slipped into limbo, hell is left unmentioned, except perhaps for terrorists and infamous criminals, while heaven is the final and universal human right; or perhaps just a consoling myth.

"Christian teaching on the resurrection of the body and the establishment of a new heavens and earth, the heavenly Jerusalem, are a vindication of the values of ordinary decent living, while the final judgment, the separation of the good from the evil, marks the establishment of universal justice not found in this life."