A few months ago on the comments section of a blog, I called 20th century theologian Hans VonBalthasar a heretic link . This was objected to since the CDF never condemned him (the objector did admit that the Balthasar had weird ideas). I think his teachings are heretical and since they are popular with many ‘conservatives’ in the church they are dangerous. His most well-known error is to say we can reasonably hope hell is empty. It is not his worst, that would be his crypto-Calvinist understanding of the atonement.
Balthasar’s writings are not the sort of thing normal laymen read. So the laity should be safe, however the popular priest Fr. Barron, while he has done much good in the area of evangelization, has stated that Von Balthasar is his favorite theologian. Here http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dmsa0sg4Od4 Fr. Barron elevates the view of his favorite theologian over the historic view of Catholics everywhere and in all ages. Catholics are not permitted to believe in universalism. Even if we water it down by saying ‘it’s only a theory’.
I would like to direct my (very few) readers to a series of posts at unamsanctamcatholicam on the issue.
Part 4- being written
And to lighten the mood- did you hear the one about the medieval peasant who is permitted to see hell? An angel gives him a tour and he sees his parish priest up to his neck in boiling excrement “Fr. how is it you are up to your neck in filth”
The priest answers, “I am up to my neck because I’m standing on the shoulders of the Bishop”