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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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UNIVERSALISM, DOCTRINAL

The theory that hell is essentially a kind of purgatory in which sins are expiated, so that eventually everyone will be saved. Also called apokatastasis, it was condemned by the church in A.D. 543, against the Origenists, who claimed that "the punishment of devils and wicked men is temporary and will eventually cease, that is to say, that devils or the ungodly will be completely restored to their original state" (Denzinger 411).

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