Dr. Ralph Martin, Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, has written an important book titled Will Many Be Saved? The text received a good deal of attention at the recent synod on the New Evangelization, and its opening pages are filled with endorsements from some of the leading figures in the Church today.
Dr. Martin's argument is straightforward enough: the attitude, much in evidence in the years following Vatican II, that virtually everyone will go to Heaven has drastically undercut the Church's evangelical efforts.
Why then, if salvation is guaranteed to virtually everyone, would Catholics be filled with a passion to propagate the faith around the world with any urgency? Therefore, if the New Evangelization is to get off the ground, we have to recover a vivid sense of the reality of Hell, the possibility, even likelihood, of eternal damnation for the many who do not come to a lively faith in Christ.