The Catholic Church - in union with Rome- teaches that both heaven and hell are literal places. The Catholic Church has always taught that Hell is a real place, a place that is beyond words, a place of great torture and misery. Those in Hell suffer a great deal, but the worst thing they must suffer is total seperation from God, they have no hope, they are damned for eternity.
The Catholic Faith is stated in the Athanasian Creed: "They that have done what is good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire". The Catholic Church has repeatedly defined the same truth, e.g., at the Council of Florence: "The souls of those who depart in mortal sin, or only in Original sin, go down immediately into Hell to be visted, however, with unequal punishments." In 1336 Pope Benedict XII made the following definition: "We also define that, according to God's general ordinance, the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin descend straightway after death into Hell, where they suffer it's torments; yet nonetheless, in the day of Judgement all will appear before the tribunal of Christ, there to render an account of their actions."
The Catechism of the Catholic Church sates:
1033 " .....To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining seperated from him forever by our own free choice. The state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "Hell".
1034 " Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna,", of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. Jesus solemning proclaims that "he will send his Angels, and they will gather ......all evil doers, and throw them into the furance of fire," and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"
1035 " The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of Hell and it's eternity...."
St. Justin, who lived in the first half of the Second Century, went so far as to teach that if Hell foes not exsist, "either there is no God, or if there is, He he does not concern himself with men, and virture and vice have no meaning." (Apol. ii, 9)
And if I am not mistaken, St. Basil the Great stressed the existence of hell as an actual place of eternal punishment, as do the Holy Gospels:
"And if thy hand, or thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. It is better for thee to go into life maimed and or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire." - Matthew 18:8
"Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me,you cursed, into everlasting fire which is prepred for the devil and his angels." - Matthew 25:41