Is God Present Even in Hell?

Father Fortea, is God present even in hell?

Yes, God is present even in hell. There is no place (or being) in which God is not present. God, the Creator of all things, maintains everything in existence and knows everything from all eternity. So demons are not freed from the presence of God even in hell. No matter how far a demon wants to draw away from God, he will always be condemned to be in the presence of God.

Even though God is in hell, the demons do not directly perceive His presence. On the contrary, they feel totally distanced from Him. God permits them to have this sensation so as not to torment them. Nevertheless, there is no place or being that can be outside the reach, sight, or power (i.e., the presence) of God.


Editor’s Note:  To learn more about spiritual warfare and demonology, Catholic Spiritual Direction recommends Fr. Fortea’s excellent book, Interview With An Exorcist – An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance.

Art: Cielo e infierno [Heaven and Hell] (Dura subexposición del atardecer desde el balcón de casa) [Timed underexposure of nightfall from the balcony of my house], Andrés Nieto Porras from Palma de Mallorca, España, uploaded by russavia, 1 September 2010, CC, Wikimedia Commons.

About Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea

Trained by Vatican exorcist Gabriele Amorth, Father José Antonio Fortea is not only an exorcist, but also a writer, calligrapher and parish priest. He once thought he would lead what he has termed ordinary life as an attorney in Madrid, much as his father did before him, but sensed instead a vocation to the priesthood in his adolescent years. A theology graduate of Navarre University in Spain, Father Fortea wrote a thesis there on exorcism. He has been a practicing exorcist for several decades.

This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction.

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  • jake

    I read Fr. Fortea’s books, it’s ok. I do not recommend the purchase of his DVD. I believe that the DVD that he has done, should be removed, and no longer published. It is him talking about deliverance and he talks about a woman he was working with and you see her. I think this is very dangerous. An exorcist should never reveal a person who is having problems with the demonic, this can cause serious problems for the person, and cause them to be ridiculed and feared by people in public. This woman’s face should never have been shown. I believe he has done great damage to this woman by exposing her case and her face. As a person who has worked with an exorcist, it should not be something that is made public. If he wanted to do something he should have had her face blurred out. For this reason I cannot recommend his DVD. He has put this woman in a place to be ridiculed, ostracized, and feared by people. This could cause her great mental health issues, his lack of discernment in this case, and for the safety and welfare for this young woman, was not thought out. For that reason I would ask no one to buy the DVD, as I do not believe that what he did, was a safe thing to do. He may have thought he was doing something good for people to show something like this, but in the end, it will only bring more harm to this woman. For that, I cannot and will not recommend that DVD, and I believe from a very moral view he should discontinue the DVD. The welfare of the person comes first.

  • NYCFiredog

    For all we know, the woman may have wanted to be open about her case as a way to help others. She may have given him her free will permission and even encouraged Fr. to include her.

  • LizEst

    Excellent point NYCFiredog.

  • vicki

    Jake: I feel the same as you do. I believe that demonic beings can attach themselves or find portals in order to attach to someone else. Yes and also it would leave the woman he showed in the DD with issues

  • Denise

    I was always taught that if you went to hell that the punishment was the absence of God. That is what makes it so unbearable– the absence of God for eternity. Just saying…

  • LG

    I agree with NYCFiredog. We don’t know if she gave permission or not. I would think she did. If not, then yes. Much damage could be done. I do believe, however, that the inclusion of the face is most important and will more strongly influence one’s perception that the spirit world is in fact real. It is a horrifying sight, but God often times allows such things to take place for our own belief. But I also agree with you Vicki that demons can attach themselves through others. So before I make any comment as to whether or not such a viewing is good or bad, I’m going to check with the exorcist I know who is very wise and orthodox. I would just say not to give the devil too much credit or power over such things because that belongs to God who doesn’t receive enough from us. I’ll try to post again once I have an answer from him. God Bless:)

  • JoFlemings

    Jake, I understand your sensitivity and delicacy in your concern for the woman in the DVD, but I have to assure you that I would not consider a person who had been delivered from the devil as anything other than another soul- hopefully one now healed from whatever particular issue she might have had. So, I mention that to try to allay your worry and fear for her personally. She might have wanted to testify to the good the Lord has accomplished for her in this- and Jesus might be using her specifically in this way to meet the needs of other souls. So, don’t get too hasty in your charity, this could all be part of God’s good plan- in fact, I think we can assume that is the case unless we know differently!

  • Michael King

    I come from a mixed Catholic and Orthodox family. Many Eastern Orthodox believe that the fire of hell is God’s light as experienced by those who have rejected him. The damned do not have God in the sense that they do not have the life of grace or the divine friendship. They are however only too aware of God’s presence. An article published some years ago in Homiletic and Pastoral Review ascribed this same view of hell’s fire to St. Catherine of Genoa. I know that at the reunion Council of Florence in the 15th century, the Church agreed to allow for such different interpretations.

  • Gary Downey

    What is this belief based on? The Catholic Church does not say one way or the other. How do you know God is in hell? Is this your personal opinion? Reason and logic tells me hell is the absence of God. Hell is nothingness, the absence of all reality and all that is. A black void, no light, no love, no music, no beauty, absolute nothingness. Blackness and nothingness in every direction with no end. An eternal blackness and nothingness. By definition that’s what hell is, the complete and total absence of God. Because we are taught that God is everywhere some have come to believe that God is in hell because how can anything exist outside of God? When you understand that hell is nothingness and God does not dwell in nothingness. God IS NOT present in hell because it is nowhere. That’s precisely why it’s hell.

  • LionelAndrades

    St.Teresa of Avila tells us that God is present in our innermost being.There is the Interior Castle. The Kingdom of God is within us.
    Is God also present in those people who suffer in Hell ? Does God suffer with them as he suffers on earth when we sin?