The Pope on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language.
This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist.
In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him.
Weekly Edition in English
Heaven: 28 July 1999, 7
Hell: 4 August 1999, 7
Purgatory: 11/18 August, 7
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