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What goes on in hell? Will there be NIMBYs there?

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02.03.2019

If George Pell really does go to hell (hecklers outside Victoria’s County Court forecast that he was going there, to “rot” or to “burn” or perhaps to do both) what will he find there?

What is hell? What goes on there? What does it look, smell and taste like? Is it the same for everyone or is it individually tailored to maximise its hellishness for each person banged up there?

George Pell outside Victoria's County Court, where hecklers yelled that the cardinal was going to "burn" and "rot" in hell.Credit:Jason South

I own up to being rather interested in all this not only because I fear that if there is a hell I may go there (my life has not been blameless) but also because those of us who are well-read know of umpteen intellectually stimulating, excitingly contrasting depiction of hell in literature.

One of the most vivid is the very Irish, very Roman Catholic one (and so perhaps with some special resonance for a disgraced cardinal) in James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist As A Young Man.

A school preacher puts the wind up the Irish schoolboys by describing how “Hell is a dark and foul-smelling prison, an abode of demons and lost souls, filled with fire and smoke.”

“The prisoners are heaped together in their awful prison … O, how terrible is the lot of those wretched........

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