Saturday, March 26, 2005

Was it fitting for Christ to descend into hell?

St. Thomas says yes, for three reasons:

1) Christ came to "bear our penalty in order to free us from penalty" so "it was fitting for him to descend into hell in order to deliver us also from going down into hell."

2) Because Christ overthrew the devil by undergoing his passion and death, it was "fitting he should deliver the captives detained in hell."

3) It was fitting that just as he showed forth his power on earth by his life and teachings, so he visited hell and enlightened it.
Part III of the Summa, question 52, article 1

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